Elastomers have numerous applications that take advantage of their soft, extensible and resilient properties. Nearly all commercially available elastomers are derived from petrochemical resources and are essentially non-degradable. In this talk he will present our most recent work focused on aliphatic polyester elastomers that can be derived from biomass through either fermentation and/or thermochemical approaches, exhibit outstanding mechanical properties, and are degradable. We have prepared traditional chemically-crosslinked variants and more contemporary thermoplastic elastomers based on block polymers. The talk will focus on the chemistry of their preparation, their performance as elastomers, and their enzyme catalyzed hydrolytic degradation.
Marc Hillmyer received his BS in Chemistry from the University of Florida in 1989 and his PhD in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1994. After completing a postdoctoral research position in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science he joined the Chemistry faculty at Minnesota in 1997. He is currently the McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Chemistry and leads a research group focused on the synthesis and self-assembly of multifunctional polymers. In addition to his teaching and research responsibilities, Marc served as an associate editor for the ACS journal Macromolecules from 2008-2017 and is currently the editor-in-chief of Macromolecules. He is also the director of the Center for Sustainable Polymers headquartered at the University of Minnesota, a National Science Foundation Center for Chemical Innovation.