The Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies in Łódź (CMMS) belongs to the network of the institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS). Research in the CMMS PAS is carried out in such areas as: polymer chemistry and physics, organic and bioorganic chemistry and advanced materials.
Interests of polymer chemists and physicists are focused on development and application of original methods for synthesis of well defined polymers with special emphasis on biodegradable polymers and on preparation of polymer materials with architecture controlled on micro- and nanoscale level. Investigated are nano- and microparticle assemblies as well as chemical processes at interfaces suitable for applications in medicine, biology, for construction of biosensors and optical sensors. Attention is paid to tailored synthesis of biodegradable polymers with various topology and/or stereochemical structure. Interactions of polymers with inorganic nanomaterials and preparation of polymer-inorganic hybrids are investigated. New methods of polymer characterization, based on NMR, MALDI TOF, SEC, SEM, TEM, AFM and other techniques, are developed. Basic studies of the ring-opening polymerization thermodynamics, kinetics, and mechanism are also carried out. Attention is focused on the relationship between structure and physical properties, including mechanical, thermal, optical and electrical properties of polymer materials. Problems related to crystallization of polymers (the role of entanglements of macromolecules, crystallization at interfaces and crystallization at industrial processing conditions) are extensively studied. These problems are of great importance for heterogeneous systems, blends, filled polymers and composites and and for understanding the mechanism of their toughening. Mathematical modeling and computer simulations are used for the prediction of polymer microstructure and kinetics of supramolecular structure formation, in particular from macromolecules with complex topology.
Organic chemists focus their interests on development of new methods of stereoselective syntheses of organic phosphorus and sulfur compounds in which heteroatoms are stereogenic centres. The optically active heteroorganic substrates are applied in the synthesis of new chiral catalysts and ligands for organometallic chemistry. In addition to classical methods the new ones based on application of biocatalysts (enzymes or crude cell preparations) are used for synthesize of chiral non-racemic derivatives that are otherwise inaccessible. Phosphorus-, sulfur- and selenium – containing reagents are used as valuable substrates in the synthesis of biologically active natural products. In this way, syntheses of a series of cyclopentanoid antibiotics and various drugs, such as methylenomycines, sarkomycin, rosaprostol, neplanocin, prostaglandins and their derivatives, have been accomplished. New methods developed at CMMS PAS are used for synthesis of polythiophene derivatives as well as for the synthesis of polycyclic aromatic and heteroaromatic hydrocarbons (substrates for organic molecular electronics devices, biologically active compounds and organometallic catalysts).
Studies of bioorganic chemists are directed towards development of the stereocontrolled synthesis of P-chiral congeners of biophosphates, including isotopomeric phosphates, phosphorothioates, phosphoramidates, and methylphosphosphonates. The pioneering research on enantiospecific synthesis of P-chiral anticancer drugs, which formulated the basis for chirotechnology (initiated 20 years ago), gave foundation for the novel in-house developed method of automated solid phase stereocontrolled synthesis of P-chiral oligo(nucleoside phosphorothioate)s, the most extensively studied class of oligonucleotides used in antisense strategy as the random mixture of diastereomers.
Characterization of structures of new compounds and complex substances is a key challenge for researchers dealing with scientific disciplines such as organic and bioorganic chemistry, polymer chemistry as well as new materials engineering. In CMMS PAS the NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry are leading instrumental metods used for these studies. The synthetic materials and natural products are investigated both in liquid and in solid phases. The correlation between the molecular and/or supermolecular structure and physico-chemical properties is one of the main areas of research.