Research Fellows Directory
Professor Sebastien Perrier
University of Warwick
My research aims to develop highly functional materials by careful manipulation of their molecular structure, an approach that is called molecular engineering. By controlling the reactions that add molecules to each other to build a polymer, my team designs a wide range of new polymeric materials from initial concept to final product. In the majority of my work, I take inspiration from nature. I aim at reproducing nature’s ability to generate complex molecules in a very efficient, large-scale process. I also borrow from some of nature’s materials, for instance proteins, by modifying them and using them in the design of ‘nanomaterials’. These materials have a structure that is controlled at the molecular level and on the nanometer scale (1 nanometer is one millionth of a millimetre). This precise control provides materials with unique properties, which lead to a wealth of applications.
Nanotubes – tubular structures of a few hundreds of nanometer long with an internal channel a few nanometers wide - are examples of such materials. By combining peptides, the building blocks of proteins, to polymers by molecular engineering, my research team can construct these tiny tubes and manipulate them to design specialised devices. For instance, we utilise these nanotubes as nanochannels, to control the passage of molecules into cells. These materials have applications for transport drugs inside the body to specific targeted cells, for instance in the treatment of cancer.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)