Cassandra L. Fraser

Cassandra L. Fraser

Professor of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering

B.A. Kalamazoo College, 1984
M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School, 1988
Ph.D. The University of Chicago, 1993

Department of Chemistry
PO Box 400319, Chemistry 123
Charlottesville, VA 22908

Laboratory website


Research Interests

Polymeric Metal Complexes. Metallobiomaterials for Medicine and Biotechnology. Bio-inspired and Sustainable Design. Responsive Nanoscale Assemblies.

Research in the Fraser Lab is concerned with the synthesis, properties and applications of metal complexes with polymeric ligands. Like metalloproteins, polymeric metal complexes feature site-isolated metal centers in well-defined macromolecular environments. These multifunctional targets are prepared via combination of coordination chemistry with living polymerization methodologies and offer many opportunities for further modification. The development of new synthetic methodologies involving main group, transition metal and lanthanide complexes with bipyridine and diketonate macroligands has paved the way for the discovery of some fascinating and unexpected properties and reactivity. The resulting hybrid materials can function as soluble agents, films, nanoparticles, or bulk materials, and block copolymers can form higher order nanoscale assemblies. Presently, we are exploring uses for these metallobiomaterials as optical imaging agents, oxygen sensors, drug delivery systems, and responsive materials in biomedicine and sustainable design.

Selected Publications

Luminescent Donor-Acceptor beta-Diketones: Modulation of Emission by Solvent Polarity and Group II Metal Binding. Zhang G, Kim SH, Evans RE, Kim BH, Demas JN, Fraser CL. J Fluoresc. (2009) [Epub ahead of print]

Iron tris(bipyridine) PEG hydrogels with covalent and metal coordinate cross-links. Fiore GL, Klinkenberg JL, Pfister A, Fraser CL. Biomacromolecules. 10, 128-33 (2009).

Boron polylactide nanoparticles exhibiting fluorescence and phosphorescence in aqueous medium. Pfister A, Zhang G, Zareno J, Horwitz AF, Fraser CL. ACS Nano. 2, 1252-8 (2008).