Invited Lecture – František Švec

23 January 2024
IOCB Prague
Invited Lecture – František Švec

Prof. František Švec (Charles University, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic)


Monolithic Format of Porous Materials: A Polymer Chemist's View

Date and time

23 January 2024, 10 a.m.


IOCB Prague, Lecture Hall


Today's monolithic materials were developed more than 30 years ago as a result of the search for bulk polymers featuring a highly crosslinked, porous polymer matrix with large pores that would be ideal for high-speed flow-through applications. It was expected that convection through the pores of the monolith could enhance mass transport of even large molecules and significantly accelerate processes such as chromatographic separations and catalyzed reactions. Unlike porous polymers produced as beads by suspension polymerization, bulk polymerization leading to porous material has never been studied. Therefore, we had to conduct numerous experiments to monitor and explain the differences between suspension and bulk polymerization, provide means to tightly control the porous properties and morphology, and offer methods to prepare monoliths with desired chemistries. These experiments have also proven to be a good foundation needed to commercialize our monolithic devices. Along the way, we have developed fundamentals describing the mechanism of pore formation and chemical control. We have also introduced several polymer chemistry-based approaches to the monolith field, such as UV-initiated photografting of functional monomers, which has facilitated the preparation of products with pore surface chemistries required for the intended application. New functionalization methods have also been developed, such as the attachment of nanoparticles to the pore surface. The latter, for example, has expanded the applications of monoliths in the field of highly selective chromatography and capture systems, SERS, reversible functionalization, and provided support for highly efficient enzyme immobilization.

Prof. František Švec (Photo: Tomáš Belloň / IOCB Prague) Prof. Jan Konvalinka, director of IOCB Prague (Photo: Tomáš Belloň / IOCB Prague) (Photo: Tomáš Belloň / IOCB Prague) (Photo: Tomáš Belloň / IOCB Prague) (Photo: Tomáš Belloň / IOCB Prague) (Photo: Tomáš Belloň / IOCB Prague) (Photo: Tomáš Belloň / IOCB Prague) (Photo: Tomáš Belloň / IOCB Prague) From the left: Dr. Irena G. Stará, Prof. František Švec, Prof. Jan Konvalinka (Photo: Michal Hoskovec / IOCB Prague)
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