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Faculty Profile
Ivan Gitsov Ivanov

Ivan  Ivanov

Director of the Michael Szwarc Polymer Research Institute & Professor

Orange horizontal rule

218 Jahn Lab




  • 1985-1986, Research Associate, Institute of Polymers, BAS, Sofia;
  • 1987-1993, Research Associate, Senior Research Associate, R&D Institute for Special Chemicals, Sofia;
  • 1990-1996, Visiting Scientist, Research Associate and Manager of the Polymer Characterization Facility, Cornell University and Cornell Center for Materials Research;
  • 1996-2000, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology Cornell University.

Service for Scientific Journals

Macromol, Editorial Board Member:

Molecules, Macromolecular Chemistry: Associate Editor-in-Chief:

Current Organic Chemistry, US Regional Editor: http://benthamscience.c0om/journal/index.php?journalID=coc

Polymers, Editorial Board Member:


Michael M. Szwarc Polymer Research Institute




   The research focus of our group is aimed at the design, synthesis and evaluation of novel polymers and copolymers with unique architecture, composition and properties that can be used for advanced applications. The synthetic projects involve extensive use of various methods for organic functional group (trans)formation, polycondensation techniques and multiple procedures for controlled or "living" chain-growth polymerization. State-of-the-art methods are used for isolation, identification and characterization of the macromolecules formed including size-exclusion chromatography with multiple detection, FT-IR, UV-Vis, Fluorescence and NMR spectroscopies, MALDI-TOF spectrometry and microscopy. The biological activity and biocompatibility of selected materials are evaluated in collaboration with other research groups and laboratories in USA and Europe. The combination of these methods places our research at the interfaces of organic chemistry, polymer science, biotechnology and molecular medicine (see a recent news reports on our activities in this area and

   Our efforts are almost equally divided between the creation of novel macromolecular architectures (linear-dendritic copolymers and hydrogels, hyperbranched macromolecules and linear-hyperbranched copolymers) and the evaluation of these materials for novel biomedical applications (polymeric prodrugs, systems for covalent or passive drug binding and sustained delivery) and for new biotechnological uses (formation of unique semi-artificial enzymes through site-specific nano-contacts and no chemical / genetic modification of the proteins).

   A leading motif throughout our research is the development and use of “green” and sustainable chemistry practices.

Thanks to the hard work and devotion of our students our research was ranked among the top 2% of most cited worldwide (among the top 1 % in polymers):

Novel Polymers


Controlled ATRP Synthesis of Novel Linear-Dendritic Block Copolymers and Their Directed Self-Assembly in Breath Figure Arrays. Polymers 11(3), 539 (2019); X. Liu, I. Gitsov*

Thermosensitive Amphiphilic Janus Dendrimers with Embedded Metal Binding Sites. Synthesis and Self-Assembly. Macromolecules 51(14), 5085-5100 (2018); X. Liu, I. Gitsov

Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Amphiphilic Super-H Copolymers with Linear–Dendritic Architecture. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 53(2), 178-182 (2015) I. Gitsov, I.V. Berlinova, N.G. Vladimirov 

"Click" Synthesis of Intrinsically Hydrophilic Dendrons and Dendrimers Containing Metal Binding Moieties at Each Branching Unit. Macromolecules 47(6), 2199-2213 (2014) L. Wang, D.J. Kiemle, C.J. Boyle, E.L. Connors, I. Gitsov

Hybrid Linear-Dendritic Macromolecules: From Synthesis to ApplicationsJ. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 46(16), 5295-5314 (2008) I. Gitsov


Synthesis and Characterization of Zwitterionic Polymer Brush Functionalized Hydrogels with Ionic Responsive Coefficient of Friction. Langmuir 36(14), 3932-3940 (2020); A. O. Osaheni, A. A. Shakoor, I. Gitsov, P. T. Mather, M. M. Blum

Preparation and Characterization of Novel Amphiphilic Hydrogels with Covalently Attached Drugs and Fluorescent Markers. Macromolecules 43(23), 10017-10030 (2010); C. Lin, I. Gitsov

Novel Materials for Bioanalytical and Biomedical Applications: Environmental Response and Binding/Release Capabilities of Amphiphilic Hydrogels with Shape-Persistent Dendritic Junctions. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 43(18), 4017-4029 (2005) C. Zhu, C. Hard, C. Lin, I. Gitsov

Novel Functionally Grafted Pseudo Semi-Interpenetrating Networks Constructed by Reactive Linear-Dendritic Copolymers .J. Am. Chem. Soc. 125(37), 11228-11234 (2003) I. Gitsov, C. Zhu

Amphiphilic Hydrogels Constructed by Poly(ethylene Glycol) and Shape-Persistent Dendritic Fragments, Macromolecules 35(22), 8418-8427 (2002) I. Gitsov, C. Zhu

Materials for Biomedical Applications

Hydroxyapatite-poly(D,L-lactide) Nanografts. Synthesis and Characterization as Bone Cement Additives. Molecules 26, 424 (2021); K.L. Goranova, A.K. Kattenhøj Sloth Overgaard, I. Gitsov*

A Single Enzyme Mediates the “Quasi-Living” Formation of Multiblock Copolymers with a Broad Biomedical Potential. Biomacromolecules 21(6), 2132-2146 (2020); D.M. Scheibel, D. Guo, J. Luo, I. Gitsov

Synthesis and Hydrolytic Stability of Poly(oxyethylene H-phosphonates). J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 46(12), 4130-4139 (2008) I. Gitsov, F.E. Johnson

Immobilization of Aminothiols on Poly(oxyethylene H-phosphonates) and Poly(oxyethylene phosphate)s – an Approach to Polymeric Protective Agents for Radiotherapy of Cancer. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 45(7), 1349-1363 (2007) K. Troev, I. Tsatcheva, N. Koseva, R. Georgieva, I. Gitsov

Immobilization of Aminothiols on Poly(oxyalkylene phosphates). Formation of Poly(oxyethylene phosphates)/Cysteamine Complexes and their Radioprotective Efficiency J. Med. Chem. 45(26), 5797-5801 (2002) R. Georgieva, R. Tsevi, K. Kossev, R. Kusheva, M. Balgjiska, R. Petrova, V. Tenchova, I. Gitsov, K. Troev

Dendritic-polymer drug delivery structures characterized by a novel triple detection method. Drug Disc. Today 6(2), 108-109 (2001) I. Gitsov, P. Clarke

Materials for Biotechnological Applications

Polymer-Assisted Biocatalysis: Polyamide 4 Microparticles as Promising Carriers of Enzymatic Function. Catalysts 10, 767 (2020); N. Dencheva, J. Braz, D. Scheibel, M. Malfois, Z. Denchev,* I. Gitsov*

Unprecedented Enzymatic Synthesis of Perfectly Structured Alternating Copolymers via “Green” Reaction Cocatalyzed by Laccase and Lipase Compartmentalized Within Supramolecular Complexes. Biomacromolecules, 20(2), 927-936 (2019); D.M. Scheibel, I. Gitsov

"Green" Synthesis of Unnatural Poly(Amino Acid)s with Zwitterionic Character and pH-Responsive Solution Behavior, Mediated by Linear-Dendritic Laccase Complexes. Biomacromolecules 15(11), 4082-4095 (2014) I. Gitsov, L. Wang, N. Vladimirov, A. Simonyan, D.J. Kiemle, A. Schutz

Polymer-Assisted Biocatalysis: Unprecedented Enzymatic Oxidation of Fullerene in Aqueous Medium. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 50(1), 119-126 (2012); I. Gitsov, A. Simonyan, L. Wang, A. Krastanov, S.W. Tanenbaum, D. Kiemle

Enzymatic Nano-reactors for Environmentally Beningn Biotransformations. 1. Formation and Catalytic Activity of Supramolecular Complexes of Laccase and Linear Dendritic Block Copolymers. Biomacromolecules 9(3), 804-811 (2008); I. Gitsov, J. Hamzik, J. Ryan, A. Simonyan, J. P. Nakas, Sh. Omori, A. Krastanov, T. Cohen, S.W. Tanenbaum


Smart Polymer Recycling (with Prof. K. Troev)

Smart Polymer Recycling: Synthesis of Novel Rigid Polyurethanes Using Phosphorus-Containing Oligomers Formed by Controlled Degradation of Microporous Polyurethane Elastomer. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 105(2), 302-308 (2007) K. Troev, G. Grancharov, V. Mitova, St. Shenkov, A. Topliyska, Ivan Gitsov

Phosphorus-Containing Oligoamides Obtained by a Novel One-Pot Degradation of Polyamide-6.  Polym. Degrad. Stab. 91(4), 778-788 (2006) K. Troev, N. Todorova, V. Mitova, St. Vassileva, I. Gitsov

A Novel Catalyst for the Glycolysis of Poly(ethylene terephthalate). J. Appl. Pol. Sci. 90(4), 1148-1152 (2003) K. Troev, G. Grancharov, R. Tsevi, I. Gitsov

A Novel Depolymerization Route to Phosphorus-containing Oligocarbonates. Polymer 42(1), 39-42 (2001) K. Troev, R. Tsevi, I. Gitsov

Full List of Publications