Composition controller to graft peptides on polymers

at the Institut Charles Sadron, 23 rue du Loess, 67034 Strasbourg


The aging of the population has increased the need of adapted solutions to face the evolution of pathologies and reduce their relapses. Among the therapeutic solutions, peptide-based drug carriers or drugs are of interest due to the variety of peptide sequences that can be reached leading to a large panel of biological properties such as cell penetration or adhesion, and antibacterial properties. These peptides can be coupled covalently to polymers to enhance their properties (biodistribution, vectorization, etc.) and behavior in a biological environment. The peptide sequence is thus chosen according to the need of the targeted biomedical applications. For example, we have recently synthesized poly(methacrylate-g-oligoarginine)s which exhibit an unexpected upper critical solution temperature (UCST) behavior, i.e. transition from insoluble to soluble upon increasing the temperature (Figure 1). This phenomenon is totally reversible allowing the formation of 200 nm aggregates at room temperature, that are able to encapsulate bioactive molecules, and their dissolution at 37 °C or above.


Figure 1: (a) Structures of poly(methacrylate-g-oligoarginine) with 5 and 10 arginine residues, (b) UCST property of the polymer in water due to the stacking of guanidinium groups from the arginine at room temperature, simulated by molecular dynamics.


The objective of this project is (i) to scale-up and semi-automate the synthesis of the methacrylate-g-oligoarginine and (ii) to identify milder polymerization conditions for this monomer.


We are looking for a motivated person having a Bachelor or Master degree with a profile in molecular chemistry interesting in strengthening his/her skills in peptide and polymer chemistry and in working on a project at the interface of chemistry and biology for a 13-month contract. If interested, please submit on the CNRS emploi platform ( your curriculum vitae, a cover letter describing your interest on the project, your transcripts of your degrees, and the name and email address of two persons that could be contacted as references.