Teresa de Martino
I received my MSc. in Industrial Chemistry, from University of Naples Federico II (Italy) in 2014 with a thesis entitled “Synthesis and Characterization of heterogeneous catalyst Niobium based for 5-HMF formation”. After my master I moved to Eindhoven and I started my work in the Chemical Reactor Engineering’s laboratories in TU/e on open-microstructured random packing in Gas-Liquid-Solid catalytic reactor for Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis, a project sponsored and financed by MCEC (the Netherlands Center for Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion). I am currently a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering department (SMO group in TU/e) under the supervision of prof. Jan van Hest. My PhD research is part of a larger multidisciplinary project called “ONE-FLOW” in close collaboration with Randbound University of Nijmegen and other Universities.
My research involves the use of polymeric nano-vesicles, the so-called Polymersomes, as compartmentalized reactors for cascade reactions. Polymersomes are small unites made up by self-assembling of amphiphilic block copolymers and thanks to their robustness and stability they function as carrier for both enzymes and chemo-catalysts.
The aim is to produce THC derivatives by a multi-step synthesis within the different compartments of the polymersome using a bio-chemo-catalysts. In fact, normally metal catalyst interaction with solvents or enzymes results in a loss of activity, by the separation in different areas of the polymersome (one hydrophilic and one hydrophobic) the ultimate goal can be successfully reached and the catalyst is preserved during the synthesis.
The optimized catalyst-polymersome combination will be embedded in a flow with the prospective of a continuous process, moreover it is expected that the yields will be improved thanks to the new hydrodynamic of the system.