We aim to develop a scalable and concise synthetic strategy to prepare functionalized polyesters from amino acids through controlled living polymerization of O-carboxyanhydrides monomers and other cyclic monomers. Our current synthetic method for polyesters can be used to prepare homopolymers, block copoly-mers, stereoblock copolymers, and gradient copolymers; and, in particular, it allowed us to prepare a gradient copolymer that is tougher, more ductile, and more resilient than the corresponding block copolymers and homopolymers, and is comparable with some commodity polyolefins
Recent Publications: Wang, X. Q.; Chin, A. L.; Zhou, J. Y.; Wang, H.; Tong, R. "Resilient Poly(alpha-hydroxy acids) with Improved Strength and Ductility via Scalable Stereosequence-Controlled Polymerization", J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2021, 143, 16813-16823. Zhong, Y.; Feng, Q.; Wang, X.; Yang, L.; Tong, R. "Photocatalyst-Independent Photoredox Ring-Opening Polymerization of O-Carboxyanhydrides: Stereocontrol and Mechanism" Chem. Sci., 2021, 12, 3702-3712. Zhong, Y.; Feng, Q.; Wang, X.; Chen, J.; Cai, W.; Tong, R. “Functionalized Polyesters via Stereoselective Electrochemical Ring-Opening Polymerization of O-Carboxyanhydrides”, ACS Macro Lett., 2020, 9, 1114-1118. Feng, Q.; Yang, L.; Zhong, Y. L.; Guo, D.; Liu, G. L.; Xie, L. H.; Huang, W.; Tong, R. "Stereoselective Photoredox Ring-Opening Polymerization of O-Carboxyanhydrides", Nature Communications, 2018, 9, 1559. Feng, Q.; Tong, R. "Controlled Photoredox Ring-Opening Polymerization of O-Carboxyanhydrides", J. Am. Chem. Soc.2017, 139, 6177-6182 Wang, R.; Zhang, J.; Yin, Q.; Xu, Y.; Cheng, J.; Tong, R. “Controlled Ring-Opening Polymerization of O-Carboxyanhydrides Using β-Diiminate Zinc Catalyst", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2016, 55, 5452-5456.
Drug Delivery for Cancer Immunotherapy
Cancer immunotherapeutics (e.g., immune checkpoint blockade antibodies) have promising clinical applications but suffer from disadvantages such as severe toxicities and moderate patient-response rates. None of the current delivery strategies, including local administration aiming to avoid systemic toxicities, can sustainably supply drugs over the course of weeks; adjustment of drug dose, either to lower systemic toxicities or to augment therapeutic response, is not possible. We aim to develop drug delivery systems that allow for timely presentation of treatment outcome, and on-demand delivery of immunotherapeutics that can elicits sustained anti-tumor immune responses without exacerbating toxicities.
Recent Publications: Chin, A. L.; Jiang, S.; Jang, E.; Niu, L.; Li, L.; Jia, X.; Tong, R. "Implantable Optical Fibers for Immunotherapeutics Delivery and Tumor Impedance Measurement", Nature Communications, 2021, 12, 5138. Chauhan, V. P.; Chen, I. X., Tong, R. (co-first author); Ng, M. R.; Martin, J. D.; Naxerova, K.; Wu, M. W.; Boucher, Y.; Kohane, D. S.; Langer, R.; Jain, R. K. "Reprogramming the Microenvironment with Tumor-Selective Angiotensin Blockers Enhances Cancer Immunotherapy", Proceedings of the National Academy of Science U.S.A., 2019, 116, 10674-10680