Malte Winnacker

Sustainable Polymers

A key topic of my research is the synthesis, analysis and application of sustainable polymers and materials from renewable resources such as terpenes. Terpene-based polymers have – in addition to their sustainability – very interesting and significant structures, features and properties. Menthone-, pinene- and limonene-based polyamides and polyesteramides (and their copolymers and blends) are synthesized via the corresponding lactams by means of (catalytic) ring-opening polymerization (ROP). Another key project is the synthesis and application of polymer surfaces and scaffolds as biomaterials for the directed interaction with living cells, in order to direct cell behavior. For this, also bioconjugates are prepared via conjugation of functional biomolecules with synthetic polymers or oligomers, in order to combine the properties of both components and to obtain smart materials with high interest mainly for nanoscience and biomedicine. These approaches can result in applications for e.g. tissue engineering, sensing, analysis and drug delivery, and also the emerging field of synthetic biology.

Key publications:

Pinenes: Abundant and Renewable Building Blocks for a Variety of Sustainable Polymers, M. Winnacker, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 14362–14371.

β-Pinene-Derived Polyesteramides and Their Blends: Advances in Their Upscaling, Processing, and Characterization, M. M. Kleybolte, M. Winnacker,* Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2021, 42, 2100065.

Sustainable Myrcene-Based Elastomers via a Convenient Anionic Polymerization, D. H. Lamparelli, M. M. Kleybolte, M. Winnacker,* C. Capacchione,* Polymers 202113, 838.