Polymers and Antioxidants: Unlimited Fascination

Rosemary

Monday 16 April 2012

Inaugural lecture by Professor Sahar Al-Malaika

Scientists have been learning from the natural world for centuries. With expanding knowledge and serendipity, they have synthesised polymeric materials with unique properties that contribute to many modern technologies, e.g. cell phones, computers, cars, planes and prosthetics.

Like all living organisms, however, organic polymers are subject to oxidative stresses and degradation at every stage of their life - these are exacerbated further by heat, light, water and pollution leading to premature ageing and loss of performance. Oxidative polymer ageing is caused by the formation of highly reactive and damaging free radicals - the process is similar to the oxidation of cells in humans which contributes to a variety of diseases and ageing. Fortunately for us, the human body has a natural antioxidant defence system against such radicals, for polymers though the fight for survival depends on scientists!

The role of antioxidants in the natural world has been innovatively mimicked and applied by scientists in polymers to prevent oxidative damage and ageing, paving the way for far reaching industrial, technological and medical applications.  

This lecture will explore some aspects of antioxidants and polymers drawing on my research and personal journey into such a fascinating field.

About the event:

The lecture will take place at the Sumpner Lecture Theatre at Aston University from 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Tea and coffee is available from 6pm. The lecture will be followed by a buffet. To book a seat, please email your details to events@aston.ac.uk.

For further information, please email Paula Eccles.