12 Apr 2013
Rideal Travel Bursar Christopher Cadman attended the Third International Conference on Multifunctional, Hybrid and Nanomaterials in Sorrento, Italy from 3-7 March 2013. Here he tells us of his experiences:
With over 900 delegates this conference was a fantastic opportunity for me to present the findings of my PhD to a large and varied audience.
My poster, 'The effect of surface functionalization on the photocatalytic behavior of titanium dioxide nanoparticles and on their biological performance,' gained a lot of interest during the conference.
The poster summarised the findings of my PhD into the synthesis and coating of titanium dioxide nanoparticles with the intention of using them for a process known as photodynamic therapy (PDT); a technique which utilises the photocatalytic capability of titanium dioxide (TiO2) to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) in vivo, which are then able to induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in neighbouring cancerous cells.
Many other attendees were also researching the potential applications of TiO2 and it was extremely interesting - and challenging in some cases - to discuss my research with them.
The conference's topics ranged widely from metal-organic frameworks to molecular switches. Attending was a great opportunity for me to hear well-known scientists in my field, such as Markus Antonietti, but it also enabled me to attend and broaden my knowledge in other fields. Another highlight was hearing Kris Matyjaszewski, the father of the polymer synthetic method atom-transfer radical-polymerisation (ATRP). Although my main research is based on metal oxide synthesis and uses, I am also involved in collaborations in my group centred on ATRP so to attend Prof Matyjaszewski's talk was an honour1.
As I am now in the final months of my PhD, it was useful to broaden my knowledge on the applications of TiO2 in preparation for my viva, and network with researchers in my field. I was especially pleased to meet Dr David Kisailus, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Riverside. He presented both a talk and a poster based on the use of TiO2 for water purification, and I got the opportunity to discuss research with him during the welcome reception.
I work in a highly interdisciplinary group where we research many topics from polymer synthesis to cell differentiation. Attending this conference allowed me to improve my knowledge in a wide number of fields and it is my hope that this will benefit the whole group.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank SCI and the RSC for this generous award, without which I doubt I would have been able to attend.
University of Manchester
1 Vo, C.-D., Cadman, C. J., Donno, R., Goos, J. A. C. M. and Tirelli, N. Combination of Episulfide Ring-Opening Polymerization With ATRP for the Preparation of Amphiphilic Block Copolymers, Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2013, 34, 156-162