バイオマスモノマーを用いた主鎖生分解性ゴムの開発と機能化

髙坂泰弘
(信州大学繊維学部 テニュアトラック助教)

2018年1月19日金曜日

Special Guest from the World

This is the translated article from the previous post.
(この記事は前の記事の英語版です)

Prof. Michael P. Shaver at the University of Edinburgh visited our group and made a lecture for us and the related  groups.


The University of Edinburgh is a prestige university ranked in 17th in the world. Prof. Shaver is young leading professor at 41 years old and works in the editorial board of European Polymer Journal (EPJ; IF 3.66).

He has a wide range of research fields; for example, polymer synthesis by controlled radicals, biosensors, and organometallic  chemistry. His latest paper is published in the high-impact journal, the Journal of American Chemical Society.

However, his most superior and famous works are on the developments of sustainable plastics prepared from natural plants, as he directs 'Green Materials Laboratory. I feel elegance in Mike's research is not only in the starting materials from plants but also in the complete recycle of the plastic wastes. That is, PET, a typical polyester for PET bottles, is not recyclable due to the high stability. Therefore, what we can do is limited to the reuse after refabrication to fibers or new PET bottle. It's not recycle but recuse. On the other hand, Mike's new polyester can be rapidly decomposed to the starting material by the treatment of some catalyst. After the decomposition, we can facially purify the starting materials to prepare a fresh polyester again. This is recycle!



Then, let's check my research project financially supported by Japan Prize Foundation. In my first post in this blog, you can find the phrases: 'Development and functionalization of rubbers with biodegradable main chains prepared from biomass monomers' and 'Synthesis of functional materials from natural plants'.

Yes, my first aim is same to Mike's!

Now we proceeds our researches on degradable materials from the other viewpoints, as our results have proposed unexpected and amazing direction...and importantly, my interests exist in other regions.

With such background, I listened to Mike's presentation in the international conference held in UK and introduce my results. It was great pleasure for me that Mike got strong interests! We have agreed with future collaboration and continuous  contacts.

Amazingly, a big chance came soon! Mike has been invited from RCMS in Nagoya University as an invitation professor. Of cause, I call Mike to my university!!



Our discussion with Mike was very fantastic and intelligent. I have got many many new ideas and inspirations during his stay, as if we were in international conference. Now wind blows from the world!

"We tried this experiment, but the result was not so good'
'Ah, we have similar inspiration but slightly different from yours....how about it?'

Such opinion exchanges repeated. Talk with a researcher who shares perspective with me.... how happy and exiting it is.

It is also precious time for my students, as they can directly ask their questions to the author of the papers we read.

"Feel the world in lab"

I can conclude as such. I hope students encouraged to have interests in studying abroad.

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