About ATRP - Matyjaszewski Polymer Group - Carnegie Mellon University

ATRP differs significantly from earlier conventional radical based polymer manufacturing methods by allowing scientists to produce complex polymer structures using a special catalyst that adds one or a few subunits (monomers) at a time to a growing polymer chain. This living, synthetic process can be shut down or re-started at will, depending on how the temperature and other conditions of the reaction are varied. ATRP is an exceptionally robust way to uniformly and precisely control the chemical composition and architecture of polymers as well as the uniform growth of every polymer chain, while employing a broad range of monomers.

Key to ATRP’s success is that the process is easily conducted in available industrial equipment. Much of its research progress and commercial success can be attributed to two research Consortia Matyjaszewski has initiated and led. These two highly successful consortia have allowed companies to quickly incorporate the latest ATRP methodologies into the development of new products for their specific markets. These Consortia have comprised more than 50 multinational chemical companies from across the world who can send their employees to be trained in the latest ATRP procedures in Matyjaszewski’s laboratory.

ATRP technology developed by Matyjaszewski has already been licensed to nine international companies, which started production of ATRP-based polymers in Japan, Europe and the United States in 2004. ATRP has been successfully used to create better pigment dispersants for inkjet printing, cosmetics, chromatographic packings, adhesives and sealants for self-cleaning windows, among others. Some other applications that are being evaluated include drug delivery methods, coatings for cardiovascular stents, scaffoldings for bone regeneration, biocidal surfaces, degradable plastics and others in the optoelectronic and automotive industries.