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Multifunctional Polymers

Beth Foster

Beth Foster

My research project is primarily involved in the study of cyclodextrin complexes. Cyclodextrins (CDs) are a set of cyclic oligosaccharides consisting of a number of glucose units linked by α-(1,4) bonds. The structure of a cyclodextrin resembles a truncated cone shape, encompassing a hydrophilic exterior and hydrophobic cavity. The difference in exterior and interior properties of cyclodextrin mean that it is able to selectively encapsulate certain molecules, and it is this characteristic which gives cyclodextrins such great potential in a range of chemical applications.


Binding within cyclodextrin can enhance the solubility of a hydrophobic molecule, reduce volatility of compounds and protect the guest molecule from degradation by oxidation, UV-vis light or heat, thus increasing its stability and lifetime. It can also provide controlled release of the guest molecule over a period of time, which gives it applications in areas such as flavourings and fragrances. Cyclodextrins show particular potential for use in drug delivery, since they are able to solubilise and protect a drug in the body, then release it at a given point.

My project is concerned with synthesising and investigating novel systems incorporating covalently bound cyclodextrins, which may show further enhanced performance in areas such as drug delivery.

I would like to thank EPSRC for funding this project.

Contact: Beth.Foster@bristol.ac.uk