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Paul Thornton

Lecturer
Member of the Colour and Polymer Science group

Contact details

Room: 1.02
Tel: +44 (0)113 3432935
Email: P.D.Thornton@leeds.ac.uk

Keywords

Polymer Chemistry
Materials Chemistry
Biomaterials
Macromolecular self-assembly
Surface Functionalisation
Enzyme-responsive materials

Photograph of Paul Thornton

Research interests

My research is concerned with employing controlled polymerisation techniques to produce functional polymeric materials with applicability within both a biomedical context and in the enhancement of commercially-important processes. Contemporary polymerisation methodologies including reversible addition−fragmentation chain-transfer polymerisation (RAFT), atom transfer radical polymerisation (ATRP) and nitroxide-mediated radical polymerization (NMP) are utilised to produce distinct (co)polymers for designed use in separation science, catalysis, (bio)sensing and surface coating applications.

In addition, I also have an interest in controlled ring-opening polymerisation to yield biodegradable polymers (homopolypeptides and polyesters) that are highly promising candidates as biomaterials. N-carboxyanhydride polymerisation is a facile route to creating synthetic homopolypeptides that possess a range of functionalities dependent on the amino acid monomer selected, and the capability to adopt a secondary structure. Consequently, we have exploited these features to create homopolypeptides that are capable of forming hydrogels, add antimicrobial properties and hydrophilicity to siloxane surfaces, and form enzyme-degradable carriers for gene delivery.

Finally, I am interested in utilising suspension and emulsion polymerisation, in addition to microfluidic synthesis, to create functionalised nanoparticles and resins. Further modification of the nanoparticles produced via solid phase peptide synthesis enables the creation of a range of stimuli-responsive materials that may be utilised in chromatography, catalyst immobilisation or drug delivery applications.

Publications

Price DJ, Khuphe M, Davies RPW, McLaughlan JR, Ingram N, Thornton PD Poly(amino acid)-polyester graft copolymer nanoparticles for the acid-mediated release of doxorubicin. Chem Commun (Camb) -, 2017
DOI:10.1039/c7cc04504b
View abstract

Boardman SJ, Lad R, Green DC, Thornton PD Chitosan hydrogels for targeted dye and protein adsorption Journal of Applied Polymer Science 134 -, 2017
DOI:10.1002/app.44846
View abstract

McAvan BS, Khuphe M, Thornton PD Polymer hydrogels for glutathione-mediated protein release European Polymer Journal 87 468-477, 2017
DOI:10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2016.09.032

Khuphe M, Mahon CS, Thornton PD Glucose-bearing biodegradable poly(amino acid) and poly(amino acid)-poly(ester) conjugates for controlled payload release Biomaterials Science 4 1792-1801, 2016
DOI:10.1039/c6bm00535g

Green DC, Ihli J, Thornton PD, Holden MA, Marzec B, Kim YY, Kulak AN, Levenstein MA, Tang C, Lynch C, Webb SED, Tynan CJ, Meldrum FC 3D visualization of additive occlusion and tunable full-spectrum fluorescence in calcite Nature Communications 7 -, 2016
DOI:10.1038/ncomms13524

Hayashi T, Kazlauciunas A, Thornton PD Dye conjugation to linseed oil by highly-effective thiol-ene coupling and subsequent esterification reactions Dyes and Pigments 123 304-316, 2015
DOI:10.1016/j.dyepig.2015.07.023
View abstract

Hayashi T, Thornton PD The synthesis and characterisation of thiol-bearing C. I. Disperse Red 1 Dyes and Pigments 121 235-237, 2015
DOI:10.1016/j.dyepig.2015.05.029
View abstract

Khuphe M, Mukonoweshuro B, Kazlauciunas A, Thornton PD A vegetable oil-based organogel for use in pH-mediated drug delivery Soft Matter 11 9160-9167, 2015
DOI:10.1039/c5sm02176f
View abstract

Khuphe M, Kazlauciunas A, Huscroft M, Thornton PD The formation of biodegradable micelles from a therapeutic initiator for enzyme-mediated drug delivery. Chemical Communications 51 1520-1523, 2015
DOI:10.1039/c4cc08387c
View abstract

Ventura C, Thornton P, Giordani S, Heise A Synthesis and photochemical properties of spiropyran graft and star polymers obtained by 'click' chemistry Polymer Chemistry 5 6318-6324, 2014
DOI:10.1039/c4py00778f

Thornton PD, Reduwan Billah SM, Cameron NR Enzyme-degradable self-assembled hydrogels from polyalanine-modified poly(ethylene glycol) star polymers. Macromol Rapid Commun 34 257-262, 2013
DOI:10.1002/marc.201200649
View abstract

Byrne M, Thornton PD, Heise A Facile synthesis of ultra high molecualr weight star shaped polypeptides based on NCA ring opening polymerization (ROP) with dendrimers ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 243 , 2012

Habraken GJM, Heise A, Thornton PD Block copolypeptides prepared by N-carboxyanhydride ring-opening polymerization Macromolecular Rapid Communications 33 272-286, 2012
DOI:10.1002/marc.201100730
View abstract

Thornton PD, Brannigan R, Podporska J, Quilty B, Heise A The generation of hydrophilic polypeptide-siloxane conjugates via n-carboxyanhydride polymerisation. J Mater Sci Mater Med 23 37-45, 2012
DOI:10.1007/s10856-011-4503-4
View abstract

Byrne M, Thornton PD, Cryan SA, Heise A Star polypeptides by NCA polymerisation from dendritic initiators: Synthesis and enzyme controlled payload release Polymer Chemistry 3 2825-2831, 2012
DOI:10.1039/c2py20327h
View abstract

Borase T, Iacono M, Ali SI, Thornton PD, Heise A Polypeptide core-shell silica nanoparticles with high grafting density by N-carboxyanhydride (NCA) ring opening polymerization as responsive materials and for bioconjugation Polymer Chemistry 3 1267-1275, 2012
DOI:10.1039/c2py00610c
View abstract

Thornton PD, Heise A Polymeric bio-functionalisation to generate enzyme-responsive biomaterials 24th European Conference on Biomaterials - Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials -, 2011

Habraken GJM, Peeters M, Thornton PD, Koning CE, Heise A Selective enzymatic degradation of self-assembled particles from amphiphilic block copolymers obtained by the combination of N -carboxyanhydride and nitroxide-mediated polymerization Biomacromolecules 12 3761-3769, 2011
DOI:10.1021/bm2010033
View abstract

Thornton PD, Heise A Bio-functionalisation to enzymatically control the solution properties of a self-supporting polymeric material. Chem Commun (Camb) 47 3108-3110, 2011
DOI:10.1039/c0cc03647a
View abstract

Ates Z, Thornton PD, Heise A Side-chain functionalisation of unsaturated polyesters from ring-opening polymerisation of macrolactones by thiol-ene click chemistry Polymer Chemistry 2 309-312, 2011
DOI:10.1039/c0py00294a
View abstract

Thornton PD, Heise A Highly specific dual enzyme-mediated payload release from peptide-coated silica particles. J Am Chem Soc 132 2024-2028, 2010
DOI:10.1021/ja9094439
View abstract

Ulijn RV, Mart RJ, McDonald TT, Thornton PD Designing peptide actuators for enzyme-responsive particles ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 238 -, 2009

Thornton PD, Mart RJ, Webb SJ, Ulijn RV Enzyme-responsive hydrogel particles for the controlled release of proteins: Designing peptide actuators to match payload Soft Matter 4 821-827, 2008
DOI:10.1039/b714750c
View abstract

Thornton PD, Mart RJ, Ulijn RV Enzyme-responsive polymer hydrogel particles for controlled release Advanced Materials 19 1252-1256, 2007
DOI:10.1002/adma.200601784
View abstract

Ulijn RV, Bibi N, Jayawarna V, Thornton PD, Todd SJ, Mart RJ, Smith AM, Gough JE Bioresponsive hydrogels Materials Today 10 40-48, 2007
DOI:10.1016/S1369-7021(07)70049-4
View abstract

Thornton PD, Ulijn RV Enzyme-triggered collapse of PEG based particles Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings 947 , 2006
View abstract

Thornton PD, McConnell G, Ulijn RV Enzyme responsive polymer hydrogel beads Chemical Communications 5913-5915, 2005
DOI:10.1039/b511005j