Manos Gkikas

  • Post Doctoral

MIT Unit Affiliation: 

  • Chemical Engineering

Lab Affiliation(s): 

Olsen group

Post Doc Sponsor / Advisor: 

Bradley Olsen

Date PhD Completed: 

Sep, 2012

Top 3 Areas of Expertise: 

Polymer Synthesis & Design
Metal particles and Nanotechnology
Multifunctional Materials & Self-assembly

Personal Statement: 

Looking for a job in Academy

Expected End Date of Post Doctoral Position: 

October 20, 2015


Thesis Title: 

Polypeptide Ampiphiles: Synthesis, Characterization & Self-Assembly in aqueous solutions

Thesis Abstract: 

In this dissertation we study the synthesis, characterization and self-assembly of amphiphilic polypeptides in aqueous solutions, using the ring-opening polymerization technique as long as high vacuum techniques for the purification of all the chemicals involved (reagents, solvents). For the preparation of well-defined polypeptides, the purification of the initial monomers (N-carboxy anhydrides) is of paramount importance.

As regards the polypeptides, we synthesized linear block copolypeptides of ΑΒ type that both adopt a-helices, hybrid block polypeptides of ΑΒ type, consisting of poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(L-proline), hybrid triblock polypeptides of ΑΒA type, with poly(ethylene oxide) as the middle block and poly(L-lysine), poly(L-proline) or poly(L-glutamic acid) as the side blocks, as long as hybrid triblock polypeptides of ΑΒC type, star hybrid polypeptides, consisting of poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(L-proline) and polypeptides grafted on carbon nanotubes.

The polymers were characterized with different spectroscopic methods (FTIR, NMR, SEC, TGA, UV-Vis), while as regards their self-assembly, we examined their behavior in aqueous solutions (CD, TEM) and in the solid state, in both short-range order (WAXS, XRD) and long-range order (SAXS). Finally, it is important to be mentioned that all the polymers synthesized in this dissertation, had potential applications as models (molecular rulers), as silk mimetics (high mechanical properties) and very interesting bio-applications (kidney stones, drug carriers for cancer therapy).

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