Institute of Polymers

The Institute of Polymers (IP) is a research unit in the Nanosciences, New Materials and Technologies division of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

The mission of the Institute of Polymers is to carry out research, innovation and training in the field of polymers and polymer materials that contribute to the development of science and technology and benefit society and the economy.

The history of the institute is linked to section “Macromolecular Chemistry” created in 1962 at the Institute of Organic Chemistry. In 1972, the section grew into the Central Laboratory of Polymers (CLAP). As a result of the scientific research at CLAP, a number of new technologies were introduced in industrial production: BADIMOL – supramolecular poly (ethylene oxide), polymer additives for cyan-free application of metal coatings, catalysts for the production of phenolic resins, polymer adhesives, new medical materials and more. From 1 March 1990, CLAP was transformed into Institute of Polymers (IP). IP has expanded its research activities with new fundamental research in the field of ionic and radicular polymerization, in the development of polycondensation methods for the production of polymers. Polymer materials have been developed with special properties for use in medicine and pharmacy, biotechnology and agriculture, machine building, environmental protection, etc.

Scientific activity

The Institute of Polymers conducts research in the following areas:

New polymers and innovative polymeric (nano) materials and technologies

  1. Polymers with diverse macromolecular architecture, topology and functionality through controlled polymerization processes and / or modification of macromolecules;
  2. Water colloidal systems of amphiphilic copolymers – formation and stabilization of polymeric aggregates of different structure;
  3. Polymer-organic and polymer-inorganic hybrid nanomaterials (nanoparticles, nanofibers);
  4. High-tech approaches and equipment for the production of nanostructured fibrous materials through electrospinning, electrospray, centrifugal electrospinning and other advanced technologies.

Polymeric materials used in biomedicine, pharmacy and biotechnology

  1. Intelligent systems based on temperature and pH sensitive polymers as carriers of delayed or controlled release drug substances;
  2. Electroactive composite materials, such as actuators, sensors and switches;
  3. Nano-sized carriers (nanoparticles, nano- and microfibrous materials) of drug substances and biommacromolecules;
  4. Hydrogels and cryogels for the integration of drugs, enzymes and cells;
  5. Phosphorus-containing biologically active materials – poly (aminophosphonate) and supramolecular polyphosphoesters;
  6. New polymeric materials with improved biocompatibility or targeted biological activity.

Polymeric materials for alternative energy sources and polymers from renewable and unconventional resources

  1. Polymeric membranes for energy converters
  2. Active polymeric layers for organic solar elements
  3. “Green” synthesis of biodegradable polymers
  4. Biodegradable polymer mixtures and nanocomposites
  5. Recycling and recovery of polymeric waste

Key areas of activity in which results have been or are expected to be achieved in the near future are:

  • Intelligent copolymer networks and hydrogels reacting to temperature and pH changes of the environment with application as carriers of drug substances;
  • Micro- and nanostructured polymeric materials obtained through electrospinning with application in biomedicine as a new generation of materials for wound healing, drug delivery, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering; in biotechnology and environmental protection;
  • Polymeric nanoscale carriers of genetic material, biological molecules and biologically active substances that are able to overcome cellular barriers and reach target organelles;
  • A water-soluble form of poplar propolis in which all biologically active ingredients are dissolved in water by means of block copolymer micelles in the absence of ethyl alcohol or other organic solvents;
  • Phosphorus-containing compounds having specific properties such as biodegradability, biocompatibility, low toxicity, water solubility, amphiphility, high reactivity and thermal stability;
  • Original methods for modifying phosphorus-containing polymers resulting in the production of polymeric analogs of aminophosphonic acids, as well as glycopoly-phosphoramidates which are characterized by their own biological activity or biopdistinguishable properties.
  • Polymeric membranes based on polybenzimidazole (PBI), designed for fuel cells and electrolyzers, including: proton conducting low and medium temperature membranes; high temperature membranes with an operating temperature of up to 180° C; crosslinked and composite membranes containing montmorillonite, graphene oxide and activated carbon; and anion conductive PBI membranes which are characterized by very good mechanical properties and high ion conductivity surpassing those known so far.

The Institute of Polymers staff has expertise to identify, characterize and technologically control polymers, materials and composites based on polymers (qualitative and quantitative analysis, thermal and mechanical properties, molecular-mass characteristics, nanoparticle size, viscosity, rheological parameters, etc.).

Educational activity

The Institute of Polymers is accredited to train PhD students in professional field: 4.2 Chemistry, Doctoral Program: Polymers and Polymer Materials.

Scientists from IP hold 5 specialized courses at the PhD School of the Training Center – BAS in division 3: “Nanosciences, New Materials and Technologies”. Practical training is provided by the Institute for students under project BG051PO001-3.3.07-0002 “Student Practices”, funded under OP HRD. Lecture courses and schools have been prepared and carried out in implementation of BG051PO001-3.3.06 – 006 and BG051PO001-3.3.06 – 0017 projects, funded under OP HRD (Scheme “Support for the development of doctoral students, post-doctoral students, postgraduates and young scientists”) as well as under project BG05M2OP001-2.009-0019-C01 / 02.06.2017 financed under OP SESG.


International relations

  • The Institute of Polymers is co-founder of the Central and East European Polymer Network
  • Prof. Dr. Nevena Manolova is Chairman of the Bulgarian Polymer Society and is represented in the European Polymer Federation and member of the National Committee of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and national representative in the Polymer Division of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry IUPAC)
  • Prof. Stanislav Rangelov is a member of the National Committee of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Olya Stoilova is a member of the Working Group on Career Development at Science Europe – Association of European Research Funding Organisations and Research Performing Organisations