Home > Directory > Alphabetical Faculty Listing > Karen L Wooley

Karen L Wooley
W.T. Doherty-Welch Foundation Chair in Chemistry
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Director, TAMU Laboratory for Synthetic-Biologic Interactions
TIPS ETF Research Superiority Researcher

Ph.D., Cornell University

Contact Information:
Department of Chemistry
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3255

Phone: (979) 845-4077
Fax: (979) 862-1137

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Areas of Interest

Current Activities

Our research activities combine organic syntheses, polymerization strategies and polymer modification reactions in creative ways to afford unique macromolecular structures, which have been designed as functional nanostructures, polymer systems having unique macromolecular architectures, and/or degradable polymers. The emphasis is upon the incorporation of functions and functionalities into selective regions of polymer frameworks. In some cases, the function is added at the small molecule, monomer, stage, prior to polymerization, whereas, in other cases, chemical modifications are performed upon polymers or at the nanostructure level; each requires a strategic balance of chemical reactivity and the ultimate composition and structure.

Fundamental and applied studies are leading toward the incorporation of various functions into polymer materials, including biological activity, imaging capabilities, drug or gene delivery performance, toxin sequestration, photo- or electroactivity, triggered destruction, chemical reactivity, anti-biofouling characteristics, among others. Covalent and non-covalent interactions are employed in the development of new synthetic methodologies for the construction of the materials. Rigorous physicochemical characterization and in vitro and in vivo biological evaluations are performed. Therefore, students gain broad experience and achieve expertise across disciplines, with a foundation based upon organic chemistry, and extensions into analytical, physical and biological chemistries and engineering. Current projects aim to: 1) develop polymer coatings and nanostructures that exhibit minimized non-specific biological interactions and maximized specific biological interactions to achieve non-toxic anti-biofouling performance, tissue-selective targeting, tissue engineering, etc.; 2) expand the types of discrete nanoscale objects that can be produced from the supramolecular assembly of programmed block copolymers and/or from the intramolecular assembly of sophisticated macromolecular architectures; 3) advance polymerization chemistries to achieve selective polymerization of multi-functional monomers; 4) incorporate function into degradable polymers and degradable units regioselectively into nanostructures; 5) design materials as hosts for the controlled packaging, transport and release of diagnostic and therapeutic agents; 6) engineer complex materials as highly sensitive and multi-modal Imaging agents; 7) develop synthetic methodologies to control the size, shape, and composition of nanostructures and investigate their hierarchicalassemblies.

Selected Publications

Pollack, K. A.; Imbesi, P. M.; Raymond, J. E.; Wooley, K. L. "Hyperbranched Fluoropolymer-Polydimethylsiloxane-Poly(ethylene glycol) Crosslinked Terpolymer Networks Designed for Marine and Biomedical Applications: Heterogeneous non-toxic anti-biofouling surfaces", ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2014, 6, 19265-19274, DOI: 10.1021/am505296n.

Noel, A.; Borguet, Y. P.; Raymond, J. E.; Wooley, K. L. "Poly(ferulic acid-co-tyrosine): Effect of the regiochemistry on the photophysical and physical properties, en route to biomedical applications", Macromolecules, 2014, 47(20), 7109-7117, DOI: 10.1021/ma5015534.

Link, L. A.; Lonnecker, A. T.; Hearon, K.; Raymond, J. E.; Maitland, D. J.; Wooley, K. L. "Photo-crosslinked Poly(thioether-co-carbonate) Networks Derived from the Natural Product Quinic Acid", ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2014, 6, 17370-17375, DOI: 10.1021/am506087e.

He, X.; Fan, J.; Zhang, F.; Li, R.; Pollack, K. A.; Raymond, J. E.; Zou, J.; Wooley, K. L. "Multi-responsive Hydrogels Derived from the Self-assembly of Tethered Allyl-functionalized Racemic Oligopeptides", J. Mater. Chem. B, 2014, 2 (46), 8123-8130, DOI: 10.1039/C4TB00909F.

Elsabahy, M.; Wooley, K. L. "Core-shell Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications", Chapter 13 in Frontiers of Nanobiomedical Research, V. Torchilin editor, 2014 WorldScientificOpen.

Lim, Y. H.; Heo, G. S.; Rezenom, Y. H.; Pollack, S.; Raymond, J. E.; Elsabahy, M.; Wooley, K. L. "Development of a Vinyl Ether-functionalized Polyphosphoester as a Template for Multiple Post-polymerization Conjugation Chemistries and Study of Core Degradable Polymeric Nanoparticles", Macromolecules, 2014, 47, 4634-4644, DOI: 10.1021/ma402480a.

Zou, J.; He, X.; Fan, J.; Raymond, J. E.; Wooley, K. L. "Supramolecularly-knitted Tethered Oligopeptide/Single-walled Carbon Nanotube Organogels", Chem. Eur. J., 2014, 20, 8842-8847, DOI: 10.1002/chem.201403027.

Fan, J.; Li, R.; He, X.; Seetho, K.; Zou, J.; Wooley, K. L. "Construction of a versatile and functional nanoparticle platform derived from a helical diblock copolypeptide-based biomimetic polymer", Polym. Chem., 2014, 5, 3977-3987, DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00628C. PMCID: PMC4084918

Noel, A.; Borguet, Y. P.; Raymond, J. E.; Wooley, K. L. "Poly(carbonate-amide)s derived from bio-based resources: Poly(ferulic acid-co-tyrosine)", Macromolecules, 2014, 47, 2974-2983, DOI: 10.1021/ma500454f. PMCID: PMC4020594

Heo, G. S.; Cho, S.; Wooley, K. L. "Aldehyde-Functional Polycarbonates as Reactive Platforms", Polym. Chem., 2014, 5, 3555-3558, DOI: 10.1039/c4py00456f.

Hearon, K.; Nash, L. D.; Rodriguez, J. N.; Lonnecker, A. T.; Raymond, J. E.; Wilson, T. S.; Wooley, K. L.; Maitland, D. J. "A High-Performance Recycling Solution for Polystyrene Achieved by the Synthesis of Renewable Poly(thioether) Networks Derived from D-Limonene", Adv. Mater., 2014, 26(10), 1552-1558, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201304370. PMCID: PMC4000729

Gustafson, T. P.; Lim, Y. H.; Flores, J. A.; Heo, G. S.; Zhang, F.; Zhang, S.; Samarajeewa, S.; Raymond, J. E.; Wooley, K. L. "Holistic assessment of covalently-labelled core-shell polymeric nanoparticles with fluorescent contrast agents towards theranostic applications", Langmuir, 2014, 30(9), 631-641, DOI: 10.1021/la403943w. PMCID: PMC3933954

Zou, J.; Zhang, F.; Zhang, S.; Pollack, S. F.; Elsabahy, M.; Fan, J.; Wooley, K. L. "Poly(ethylene oxide)-block-polyphosphoester-graft-paclitaxel Conjugates with Acid-labile Linkages as a pH-Sensitive and Functional Nanoscopic Platform for Paclitaxel Delivery", Adv. Healthcare Mater., 2014, 3(3), 441-448, DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201300235. PMCID: PMC3938983

Cho, S.; Yang, F.; Sun, G.; Eller, M. J.; Clark, C.; Schweikert, E. A.; Thackeray, J. W.; Trefonas, P.; Wooley, K. L. "Directing Self-assembly of Nanoscopic Cylindrical Diblock Brush Terpolymers into Films with Desired Spatial Orientations: Expansion of chemical composition scope", Macromol. Rapid Commun., 2014, 35(4), 437-441, DOI: 10.1002/marc.201300845.

Fan, J.; Zou, J.; He, X.; Zhang, F.; Zhang, S.; Raymond, J. E.; Wooley, K. L. "Tunable mechano-responsive organogels by ring-opening copolymerizations of N-carboxyanhydrides", Chem. Sci., 2014, 5, 141-150, DOI: 10.1039/c3sc52504j. PMCID: PMC3865608

Samarajeewa, S.; Zentay, R. P.; Jhurry, N. D.; Li, A.; Seetho, K.; Zou, J.; Wooley, K. L. "Programmed Hydrolysis of Nanoassemblies by Electrostatic Interaction-mediated Enzymatic-degradation", Chem. Commun., 2014, 50(8), 968-970, DOI: 10.1039/c3cc46013d.

Zhao, Y.; Sultan, D.; Detering, L.; Cho, S.; Sun, G.; Pierce, R.; Wooley, K. L.; Liu, Y. "Positron Emitter Alloyed Gold Nanoparticle for Cancer Imaging: Improved Radiolabel Stability and Diagnostic Accuracy", Angew. Chem., 2014, 53, 156-159, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201308494.

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