Macromolecular Chemistry

Since December 2021, Prof. Nico Bruns is the Professor of Sustainable Functional Polymers at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany.  Some staff remain under his scientific supervision at AMI. For the most up-to-date information about his group's activities, please visit

The research carried out by AMI's Macromolecular Chemistry group, led by Professor Nico Bruns, has always been motivated by a fascination for polymers and proteins. The rationale behind his team's work exploits the various functions of proteins, such as their ability to self-assemble into well-defined three dimensional structures and to act as catalysts, and merges them with polymer systems, which are relatively easy to synthesize, and can be tailored to specific applications.

Via this approach, some of the best aspects of two different domains of macromolecular chemistry are combined in order to exploit the catalytic power of enzymes, to create novel nanosystems and to develop materials with unprecedented new functions. Four lines of research illustrate this strategy:

1) Biocatalytic Atom Transfer Radical Polymerizations (bioATRP)

2) Polymerization-amplified malaria diagnostics

3) Protein cages and polymersomes as nanoreactors and nanocapsules

4) Force-responsive polymer-protein hybrid materials