Dr. Edmondo Benetti (Surface Science and Technology)
The application of distinctive polymer topologies, beyond the simple linear chain, to yield cyclic and loops-forming surface-grafted assemblies, enables a broad modulation of highly relevant, interfacial physicochemical properties. This is especially valid on flat surfaces, where the ultra-dense and highly compact character of cyclic polymer “brushes” provide an enhanced steric stabilization of the interface and a superlubricious behavior . Alternatively, when cyclic brushes form shells on inorganic nanoparticles (NPs), their extraordinary structural properties make them impenetrable and long-lasting shields, which extend the stability of NP dispersions and hinder any interaction with serum proteins .
Polymer topology effects, typically observed in bulk or in solution are amplified by adding an additional boundary such as a grafting surface. Their precise tuning translates into materials with unprecedented properties and extremely high applicability.
Figure 1 The application of cyclic polymer shells on inorganic NPs provides enhanced stability and biopassivity to the colloids if compared to liner polymer analogues.
 G. Morgese, L. Trachsel, M. Romio, M. Divandari, S.N. Ramakrishna, E.M. Benetti Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 15583-15588.
 G. Morgese, B.S. Shaghasemi, V. Causin, M. Zenobi-Wong, S.N. Ramakrishna, E. Reimhult, E.M. Benetti Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 4507-4511.