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Vol. 29 No. 4
July-August 2007

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also www.iupac.org/symposia

Polymers for Advanced Applications

by Ronald D. Sanderson and Aneli Fourie

This UNESCO/IUPAC Conference on Macromolecules, held 20–23 November 2006 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, was the 9th in a series of annual conferences. The organizing committee comprised B. Klumperman (Eindhoven University, The Netherlands), R.D. Sanderson (UNESCO Associated Centre for Macromolecules and Materials, Chemistry & Polymer Science Division, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa), T. Davis (The University of New South Wales, Australia), and Aneli Fourie (UNESCO Associated Centre for Macromolecules and Materials).

A satisfactory number of delegates (129) participated, representing 15 countries other than South Africa: Australia, Botswana, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Iran, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, United Kingdom, USA, The Netherlands, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. The total number of students who participated was 77.

The conference featured 32 presentations (6 plenary lectures, 8 invited talks, and 18 oral submissions) by experts who discussed the state of the art in various fields, often encompassing the last few years of research. A lively poster session, featuring 31 posters, proved especially popular for student presentations. Three IUPAC Poster Prizes were awarded to the following students:

  • H.S. Abbo (University of the Western Cape, South Africa), “Ethylene Polymerization Using Pyridine-Pyrazolyl Ligand Late Transition Metal Complexes as Precursors”
  • A. Bowes (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa), “A-B and A-B-A Type Butyl Acrylate and Styrene Block Copolymers via RAFT-Mediated Mini-Emulsion Polymerization”
  • R. Fleet (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa), “RAFT Mediated Polysaccharide Copolymers”

Highlights of the conference included the following presentations:

  • J. Feijen (Twente University, The Netherlands), “Novel Polymer Systems for Drug and Gene Delivery”
  • H. Maeda (Sojo University, Japan), “Tumor Targeting Mechanism EPR-Effect and Advantage of Polymeric Drugs”
  • F. Caruso (The University of Melbourne, Australia), “Bioinspired Nanoengineered Polymer Colloids”
  • S. Brocchini (University of London, United Kingdom), “Bridging Disulphides: Site-Specific PEGylation of Proteins”
  • H. Maynard (University of California, USA), “Synthetic/Biopolymer Hybrids”
  • D. Bezuidenhout (UCT Medical School, South Africa), “Biomimetic Hydrogels in Tissue Engineering”

Plenary and invited speakers from overseas stressed how important it is for the African economy for scientists to receive training in macromolecules and chemistry at a postgraduate level. The South African Department of Science and Technology generously sponsored the attendance of delegates and students from Africa. Abstracts and papers are being collected for peer review for inclusion in Macromolecular Symposia.

The 10th event in this series will take place in September 2007 in Chobe, Botswana.

R.D. Sanderson <rds@sun.ac.za> served as conference co-chairman and IUPAC Representative. He works with the UNESCO Associated Centre for Macromolecules & Materials at the University of Stellenbosch. A. Fourie <aef2@sun.ac.za> served as the conference secretary and also is with the UNESCO Associated Centre for Macromolecules & Materials.

www.sun.ac.za/unesco


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