Specialised Fluorescent Polymers: Structure and Behaviour in Styrene Maleic Acid Lipid Particles

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMaster (MA)


Promising to rival detergents and revolutionise membrane protein extraction, the copolymer, styrene maleic acid (SMA), has been rapidly adopted by biologists and chemists alike. Recent attempts to optimise this system, however, have emphasised shortcomings in the underlying understanding of the technology. Here, novel, fluorescence-enabled SMA variants have been synthesised, with controlled molecular weights and compositions, that are hoped to further elucidate the currently abstract workings of styrene maleic acid lipid particles (SMALPs). Solvatochromism is evaluated as a possible method to monitor the dynamic structures of both SMA aggregates and SMALPs and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) is demonstrated as a feasible approach to probe polymer-protein interactions. Fully capable of both the formation of SMALPs and incorporation of proteins, these fluorescent polymers have the potential to benefit future SMALP and protein research.
Date of Award2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorKaren Edler (Supervisor) & Gareth Price (Supervisor)

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