I gained my degree in Industrial Chemistry at the University of Bologna (Italy) in 1998. This included a 12 months research project in organic synthetic methodologies working at the sulphur-mediated total synthesis of enantiopure conduritols starting from reduced sugars, in Prof. V. Cere's group.In Nov 2002 I was awarded my PhD in Chemistry (Corso di Perfezionamento in Scienze degli Idrocarburi) from the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa (Italy) working on the design and synthesis of novel transition-metal catalysts based on iminopyridine ligands for the olygomerisation of ethylene to alpha-olefins (research sponsored by ENI spa) in Dr. C. Bianchini's group at the ICCOM-CNR institute in Florence.Shortly afterwards I joined the group of Prof. D. M. Haddleton at the University of Warwick as a post-doctoral research assistant. In the 2003-2005 period I held a Marie Curie Post-doctoral Fellowship awarded by the European Commission.In Warwick I've been involved in a number of different projects mainly focused on the use of controlled radical polymerisation techniques (mainly transition metal-mediated living radical polymerisation, TMM-LRP, often termed ATRP) for:
- Design and synthesis of novel protein biohybrid materials obtained by site-specific conjugation of precision alpha-functional polymers to appropriate (poly)peptides.
- Design and synthesis of well-defined functional glycopolymers and study of their ability of recognising specific protein receptors (lectins)
- Grafting of functional macromolecules to surfaces (glass, cellulose, crosslinked polystyrene beads) via "grafting to" and "grafting from" approaches.
- 4) Combination of Cu(I)-catalysed Living Radical Polymerisation (LRP) with other synthetic techniques (i.e. "click" chemistry).
In Jan 2009 I was appointed Lecturer in Lecturer in Biologics Delivery in the School of Pharmacy at Nottingham.
Past Research (Keywords)Gycomic and Bioresponsive Materials Science, Macromolecular and Bioconjugation Chemistry, Tandem Organometallic Catalysis, Total Synthesis.
The development of materials able to inform, interrogate, and instruct biological systems is emerging as one of the fastest growing and exciting fields in science. These information-rich materials… read more
The development of materials able to inform, interrogate, and instruct biological systems is emerging as one of the fastest growing and exciting fields in science. These information-rich materials have been studied for a plethora of different applications which span to nanomedicine to the development of advanced diagnostics. It is very clear that progress in these fields relies on the development and understanding of these materials, as well as our ability to achieve very fine control over their preparation. My research lies at the interface of organic/macromolecular synthesis and materials/soft matter science with particular emphasis in the development of bioresponsive polymers, neoglycopolymer probes for lectin receptors recognition and polymer-(poly)peptide biohybrid materials. Precision polymer synthesis is often carried out by combining controlled radical polymerisation (CRP) techniques and orthogonal ('click') methodologies.
Selected Recent Publications
Mastrotto, F., A. F. Breen, G. Sicilia, S. Murdan, A. D. Johnstone, G. E. Marsh, C. Grainger-Boultby, N. A. Russell, C. Alexander, and G. Mantovani. 2016. 'One-pot RAFT and fast polymersomes assembly: a 'beeline' from monomers to drug-loaded nanovectors', Polymer Chemistry, 7: 6714-24.
Loczenski Rose, Vanessa, Saif Shubber, S. Sajeesh, Sebastian G. Spain, Sanyogitta Puri, Stephanie Allen, Dong-Ki Lee, G. Sebastiaan Winkler, and Giuseppe Mantovani. 2015. 'Phosphonium Polymethacrylates for Short Interfering RNA Delivery: Effect of Polymer and RNA Structural Parameters on Polyplex Assembly and Gene Knockdown', Biomacromolecules, 16: 3480-90.
Magennis, E. Peter, Francisco Fernandez-Trillo, Cheng Sui, Sebastian G. Spain, David J. Bradshaw, David Churchley, Giuseppe Mantovani, Klaus Winzer, and Cameron Alexander. 2014. 'Bacteria-instructed synthesis of polymers for self-selective microbial binding and labeling', Nat. Mater., 13: 748-55.