The AFP group is active within the Sustainable materials research clusters at the Institute for Materials Research (imo-imomec) and actively collaborates with other groups within the MATCHEM department. Our research is broadly concerned with advanced functionalization of soft polymer materials employing controlled polymerization strategies and state-of-the-art synthetic technology.

Louis Pitet 08 Louis Pitet 08

Research lines


Hybrid hydrogels with advanced functionality

Hydrogels have impressive qualities that make them appealing for various applications as biomaterials. Tissue engineering in particular requires a complex set of properties, that can ultimately be addressed with multi-component formulations, with hydrogels acting as a mechanically stable scaffold. Tailoring the mechanics of hydrogels through chemical functionalization strategies is a major target in our research. Further exploring the functionality that influences biocompatibility, responsiveness, and degradability are all critical aspects that we try to balance in our chemical design approach. This multi-disciplinary work is done in collaboration with several international partners to harness complementary expertise from world leaders in the area.


Upcycling post-consumer plastics to high-value materials

By continuously discarding huge quantities of plastic waste, not only are we destroying our natural environment at an accelerating rate, but we are throwing away resources with an enormous potential value. Research in our group looks are various manners to use plastic waste as a feedstock to produce new advanced materials. We focus primarily on large-volume waste streams and strategies for efficient chemical transformation (e.g., textiles, packaging). Injecting new life into these waste streams is critically important for improving the plight of marine and land environments. Furthermore, drastic reduction of virgin fossil-based feedstocks is critical for reducing the impact of plastic manufacturing on the climate. ​


Continuous flow polymerizations for complex polymer architectures

Polymer manufacturing is generally more efficient when done in a continuous manner. However, producing advanced polymer architectures with complex compositions is a challenge when applying to continuous flow principles, particularly in tubular reactors. We are exploring technology that will enable the synthesis of multiblock copolymers, containing mechanistically orthogonal building blocks by means of continuous flow reactors.



Trends in Polyester Upcycling for Diversifying a Problematic Waste Stream

Kulkarni, A.; Quintens, G.; Pitet, L. M. • Macromolecules 2023, 56, 1747–1758.

Hybrid Hydrogels with Orthogonal Transient Cross-linking Exhibiting Highly Tunable Mechanical Properties 

Houben, S.; Aldana, A. A.; Huysecom, A.-S.; Mpinganzima, W.; Cardinaels, R.; Baker, M. B.; Pitet, L. M. • ACS Appl. Polym. Mater. 2023, 5, 1819–1827.

Fully bio based triblock copolymers generated using an unconventional oscillatory plug flow reactor

Den Haese, M.; Gemoets, H.; Van Aken, K.; Pitet, L. M. • Polym. Chem. 2022, 13, 4406–4415.

Utility of chemical upcycling in transforming post-consumer PET to PBT-based thermoplastic copolyesters containing a renewable fatty acid-derived soft-block

Karanastasis, A.; Safin, V.; Damodaran, S.; Pitet, L. M. • ACS Polym. Au 2022, 2, 351–360.

Biobased Upcycling of Poly(ethylene terephthalate) Waste for the Preparation of High Performance Thermoplastic Copolyesters

Karanastasis, A.; Safin, V.; Pitet, L. M. • Macromolecules 2022, 55, 1042–1049.

Biomimetic Double Network Hydrogels: Combining Dynamic and Static Cross-links to Enable Biofabrication and Control Cell-Matrix Interactions

​Aldana, A. A.; Morgan, F.; Houben, S.; Pitet, L. M.; Moroni, L; Baker, M. B. • J. Polym. Sci. 2021, 59, 2832–2843.

Monnery, B. D.; Karanastasis, A.; Adriaensens, P.; Pitet, L. M.† • J. Polym. Sci.  2021, 59, 2809–2818. 

Aldana, A. A.; Houben, S.; Moroni, L; Baker, M. B.; Pitet, L. M.† • ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng.  2021, 7, 4077–4101. 

​Houben, S.; Quintens, G.; Pitet, L. M.† • J. Chem. Ed2020, 97, 2006–2013.

Reis, M. H.; Leibfarth, F. A.; Pitet, L. M.† • ACS Macro Lett. 2020, 9, 123–133. 

​Pitet, L. M. †; Chamberlain, B. M; Hauser, A. W.; Hillmyer, M. A.† • Polym. Chem. 2019, 10, 5385–5395.  †Corresponding Author


Minehara, H.; Pitet, L. M. †; Kim, S.; Zha, R. H.; Meijer, E. W.; Hawker, C. J.† • Macromolecules 2016, 49, 2318–2326.  †Corresponding Author

van Genabeek, B.; de Waal, B. F. M.; Gosens, M. M. J.; Pitet, L. M.; Palmans, A. R. A.; Meijer, E. W.  • J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 4210–4218.

Pitet, L. M. ; Alexander-Moonen, E.; Peeters, E.; Druzhinina, T. S.; Wuister, S. F.; Lynd, N. A.; Meijer, E. W. • ACS Nano 2015, 9, 9594–9602. 

​Berrocal, J. A.; Pitet, L. M.; Nieuwenhuizen, M. M. L.; Mandolini, L.; Meijer, E. W.; Di Stefano, S. • Macromolecules 2015, 48, 1358–1363.

Guo, M.†; Pitet, L. M. †; Vos, M.; Wyss, H. M.; Dankers, P. Y. W.; Meijer, E. W. • J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 6969–6977.  †Authors contributed equally

Pitet, L. M.; van Loon, A. H. M.; Hawker, C. J.; Kramer, E. J.; Meijer, E. W. • ACS Macro Lett. 2013, 2, 1006–1010.

The Effect of Pendant Benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamides in the Middle Block of ABA Triblock Copolymers: Synthesis and Mechanical Properties
Hosono, N.; Pitet, L. M.; Palmans, A. R. A.; Meijer, E. W. • Polym. Chem. 2014, 5, 1463–1470.

Well-organized Dense Arrays of Nanodomains in Thin-films of Poly(dimethylsiloxane)-b-poly(lactide) diblock copolymers
Pitet, L. M.; Wuister, S.; Peeters, E.; Hawker, C. J.; Kramer, E. J.; Meijer, E. W. • Macromolecules 2013, 46, 8289–8295.

Synthesis, Assembly, and Crosslinking of Polymer Amphiphiles In-Situ: Polyurethane–Polylactide Core-Shell Particles

McNamee, K. P.; Pitet, L. M.; Knauss, D. M. • Polym. Chem. 2013, 4, 2546–2555.

Sequential ROMP of Cyclooctenes as a Route to Linear Polyethylene Block Copolymers

Pitet, L. M.; Zhang, J.; Hillmyer, M. A. • Dalton Trans. 2013, 42, 9079–9088.

Reactive Triblock Polymers from Tandem Ring-opening Polymerizations for Nanostructured Vinyl Thermosets

Amendt, M. A.; Pitet, L. M.; Moench, S.; Hillmyer, M. A. • Polym. Chem. 2012, 3, 1827–1837.

Carboxy-telechelic Polyolefins by ROMP Using Maleic Acid as a Chain Transfer Agent

Pitet, L. M.; Hillmyer, M. A. • Macromolecules 2011, 44, 2378–2381.

 Investigation of the Role of Hydrophilic Chain Length in Amphiphilic Perfluoropolyether/poly(ethylene glycol) Networks: Towards High-performance Nonfouling Coatings

Wang, Y.; Pitet, L. M.; .Finlay, J. A.; Brewer, L.; Cone, G.; Betts, D. E.; Callow, M. E.; Callow, J. A.; Wendt, D.; Hillmyer, M. A.; DeSimone, J. M. • Biofouling 2011, 27, 1139–1150.

Stereo- and Regio-selective Ring-opening Metathesis Polymerization of 3-substituted Cyclooctenes
Kobayashi, S.; Pitet, L. M.; Hillmyer, M. A. • J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 5794–5798.

Linear, H-Shaped, and Arachnearm Block Polymers from Tandem Ring Opening Polymerizations

Pitet, L. M.; Chamberlain, B. M.; Hauser, A. W.; Hillmyer, M. A. • Macromolecules 2010, 43, 8018–8025.

High Modulus, Low Surface Energy Photochemically Curable Materials

Hu, Z.; Pitet, L. M.; Hillmyer, M. A.; DeSimone, J. M. • Macromolecules 2010, 43, 10397–10405.

Tough Polylactide Graft Copolymers

Theryo, G. C.; Jing, F.; Pitet, L. M.; Hillmyer, M. A. • Macromolecules 2010, 43, 7394–7397.

Nanoporous Linear Polyethylene from a Block Polymer Precursor

Pitet, L. M.; Amendt, M. A.; Hillmyer, M. A. • J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 8230–8231 • Featured on cover of Vol. 132 Nmbr 24, June 23rd 2010

Consequences of Polylactide Stereochemistry on the Properties of Polylactide-Polymenthide Triblock Thermoplastic Elastomers

Wanamaker, C. L.; Bluemle, M.; Pitet, L. M.; Oleary, L. E.; Tolman, W. B.; Hillymer, M. A. • Biomacromolecules 2009, 10, 2904–2911.

Combining ROMP and Cyclic Ester ROP to form ABA triblock Copolymers from 1,5–cyclooctadiene and d,l–lactide

Pitet, L. M.; Hillmyer, M. A. • Macromolecules 2009, 42, 3674–3680.

Linear and Branched Architectures from the Polymerization of Lactide with Glycidol

Pitet, L. M.; Hait S. B.; Lanyk, T. J.; Knauss, D. M. • Macromolecules 2007, 40, 2327–2334.

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Since December 2020, the AFP group has moved into the brand new Science Tower at UHasselt, together with all other MATCHEM colleagues! Take a look at the imo-imomec website to know more about our infrastructure and equipment.


Prof. dr. Louis Pitet

Louis Pitet 13 (1)

Agoralaan Gebouw F, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium

Assistant Professor

Materials chemistry

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Agoralaan Gebouw F, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium

Research Centre