Dr. Tao has developed a multifunctional Hantzsch ester (9172863) with promising applications.


Hantzsch ester 9172863 can be polymerized by reacting with poly(ethylene glycol methyl ether) methacrylate (PEGMA). This fluorescent polymer could be used for biomedical research to tag, for example, cells, glycans and curcumin. It can also be used to prepare self-healing hydrogels.

The phenylboronic acid fluorescent polymer has been used for preparing a possible anticoagulant for cell separation[1].



It has also been used to prepare water-soluble curcumin–polymer conjugates.[2] ( Curcumin is a natural product with exceptional medicinal value. Its low aqueous solubility results in poor bioavailability and limits its utilization as a potential therapeutic agent.)



  1. Qiang Sun, Guoqiang Liu, Haibo Wu, Haodong Xue, Yuan Zhao, Zilin Wang, Yen Wei, Zhiming Wang, Lei Tao. ACS Macro Lett., 2017, 6, 550.
  2. Ruihao Pan, Yuan Zeng, Guoqiang Liu, Yen Wei, Yanshuang Xu, Lei Tao. Polym. Chem., 2020, 11, 1321.

Dr. Tao’s Profile

After his PhD study in Warwick university (2003-2006), Dr Lei Tao moved to University of California, Los Angels (UCLA, USA) in 2006, and then University of New SouthWales (UNSW, Australia) in 2008 as a postdoctral research assistant. In 2010, he joined the Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University. His research interests are focused on the synthesis of well-defined polymers through controllable polymerization methods (radical, cationic and ring-open) and the application of those polymers in biological areas.

By Qinling Li


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