To me, walking the unbeaten path in science is the most beautiful way to unravel intricate processes, like polymer self-assembly
Lisa Timmers is a PhD candidate in the Laboratory of Self-Organizing Soft Matter (SSM), where she studies self-assembly. Many biomaterials have a highly controlled monomer sequence that is essential for their function and self-assembly behaviour. Nature manages to control the biomaterial sequences, whereas man-made polymers are often polydisperse, with a variety of lengths and order of monomers. Novel synthesis routes towards sequence-controlled polymers allow Lisa to design, create and study the properties of these controlled materials. She focuses on the micellization of amphiphilic polymers and aims to understand the effect of the sequence on the self-assembly behaviour. Lisa characterizes self-assembly properties using several approaches, including light scattering, X-ray scattering and surface tension measurements. Identifying how the sequence affects the performance, could allow Lisa to design industrial polymers that display the desired functionality more efficiently.
Lisa Timmers studied Molecular Life Sciences at Wageningen University and obtained her master’s degree in 2016. Lisa completed a master’s thesis on the use of dendrimers in supramolecular nano-assemblies, in the group of Prof. Dr. Aldrik Velders. In this project, she encapsulated nanoparticles inside the dendrimers and subsequently assembled these into complex coacervate core micelles, to create a box-in-a-box system. Lisa also took on an internship at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, under supervision of Associate Prof. Idriss Blakey. Here, she employed gold nanoparticle surfaces to enhance Raman scattering. In order to create nanosensor films, she tuned the ionic strength and the polymer stabilization of these gold nanoparticles. In 2017, Lisa joined the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS) as a PhD candidate of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) under supervision of Prof. Ilja Voets.
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