Defining Elemental Nanoscience

AAAS and NanoSynthons Announce 2016 Fellows


Washington D.C.— Donald A. Tomalia of NanoSynthons LLC has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

The AAAS has awarded Donald A. Tomalia (Section on Chemistry) for his pioneering contributions to nanotechnology and nanomedicine, particularly the discovery of new dendritic macromolecular architectures including dendrimers, poly(oxazolines) and a nanoperiodic concept for unifying nanoscience.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has awarded the distinction of Fellow to 391 of its members this year. These individuals have been elevated to this rank because of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, 18 February, 2017 at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering group of their respective sections (which are noted on the Fellows list), by three Fellows, or by the Association's chief executive officer. Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and forwards a final list to the AAAS Council.

The AAAS Council votes on the final aggregate list.  The Council is the policymaking body of the Association, chaired by the president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.

For more information on the nomination process, visit

A database of current AAAS Fellows, which does not include Fellows who have not maintained their AAAS membership, is available at

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal, Science ( as well as Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics.  AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!,, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS. See

(11-21-16) site updates...(1/8/14)

We have made several improvements to our website in order to help serve you better. Please do not forget to visit our store where we have over 30 dendrimer varieties currently available for purchase.

Dendrimers, Dendrons, and Dendritic Polymers” is available at a discount for a limited time....(7/12/2013)

Dr. D.A. Tomalia’s latest dendrimer book coauthored with Danish colleagues Profs. J. Christensen and U. Boas is now available from Cambridge University Press. For a limited time, one can receive a 20% discount by applying the discount code [ENG12DEN] to your order on the Cambridge University Press website. The latest external review of this book from Chemistry World describes the book as “… (By) the leaders of the field, (the book) offers an excellent introduction to the diversity of dendrimer chemistry.” “The images of dendrimers, with their beautiful snowflake-like structures, make it quite captivating…The reader is guided through the applications of dendrimers and dendritic polymers… and the influence of dendritic structures on the materials’ properties, such as the dendritic effect.” “Summerising [sic] the first 25 years of dendrimer research… the book is an ideal go-to guide for those new to the field.”

Order soon before the coupon code expires 9/15/13.

Dendrimers Now Accepted by Physicists as Soft Matter Superatoms...(6/18/2013)

Dendrimers highlighted in a recent article entitled:  Developing Superatom Science in Chemical & Engineering News have now been accepted by physicists as soft matter superatoms (J. Kemsley, C&EN News, April 15, 2013, 24-25).  A systematic framework for unifying and defining nanoscience was first proposed in 2009 [Journal of Nanoparticle Research]. This concept originally evolved from many “nanoscale atom mimicry” features and properties exhibited by dendrimers [Angew Chem and Adv Material]. From the perspective of a chemist, this atom mimicry concept rapidly expanded to include a series of six discrete soft nanoscale building block categories (i.e., polymers, proteins, DNA/RNA etc.) including dendrimers. The soft matter as well as six hard matter (i.e., metal/semi-metal) building blocks, are now referred to as Soft and Hard Nano-Element Categories [Soft Matter]. By definition, these Soft-Hard Nano-Element Categories are monodispersed clusters of atoms collectively exhibiting stoichiometric supramolecular or chemical binding properties reminiscent of traditional picoscale atoms. As such, those nanoparticles containing non-metallic elements (i.e., C, H, N, O, P, S, etc.) were referred to as “soft superatoms”.  In a parallel world led by physicists Prof. S.N. Khanna (VCU) and Prof. A.W. Castleman, Jr. (Penn. State Univ.), the electronic states of metallic elements/compounds clusters were found to exhibit similar atom mimicry features (Science). Traditional atom properties such as magnetism, Hunds Rule and other compelling features have been observed and verified by physicists. Based on a chemistry lecture presented to the American Society of Physics (Boston, March. 2012)  and subsequent dialogue involving chemists/physicists, it is now agreed that both Hard and Soft Superatoms do exist and dendrimers may represent the first prime example of Soft Superatoms (J. Kemsley, C&EN News, April 15, 2013, 24-25).

Dr. Donald A. Tomalia will present his perspectives on this subject in a lecture entitled: Dendritic Effects:  The Role of Dendrimers as Soft Superatoms in Nanoperiodic Property Patterns at The 8th International Dendrimer Symposium” (IDS8) in Madrid, Spain (June 23-27, 2013).

Dendrimers, Dendrons, and Dendritic Polymers” On sale now! (11/15/2012)

Dr. Tomalia’s 2012 book is now available from Cambridge University Press. It is available in hardcover and digital format. Save 20% off the list price by purchasing directly from the publisher using the coupon code from the bottom of this PDF.

New Dendrimer Book Coming Soon…(09/13/2012)

Dr. Tomalia’s latest book, “Dendrimers, Dendrons, and Dendritic Polymers” to be released next month. For details and ordering click the Link.

Dr. Donald Tomalia Interviewed by Nanomedicine...(08/08/2012)

The full article is available online here: Link

Dr. Donald Tomalia featured in NJC Blog... (02/14/2012)

Click here for Link.

Dr. Donald Tomalia Recipient of 2012 Carothers Award... (3/16/2012)

Dr. Donald A. Tomalia, Founder and CEO of NanoSynthons is the recipient of the 35th Carothers Award presented by the Delaware Section of the American Chemical Society for recognition of his seminal work on dendrimers.  This discovery in 1979 at The Dow Chemical Research Laboratories, Midland, Michigan involved making synthetic polymers that mimicked the appearance and growth of trees.  The term “dendrimer,” coined by Tomalia, originates from the Greek word “dendri” meaning “tree” and “meros” meaning “part of.”  Dendrimers are some of the most precise synthetic nanostructures known to mankind.  His review article in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. entitled: “Starburst Dendrimers:  Molecular Level Control of Size, Shape, Surface Chemistry, Topology and Flexibility from Atoms to Macroscopic Matter,” D.A. Tomalia, A.M. Naylor W.A. Goddard III, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl., 29(2), 138 (1990) has > 2,382 citations.  Tomalia was recently inducted into the Thomas Reuters Hall of Citation Laureates in Chemistry (i.e., 40 most highly cited scientists in the field of chemistry) (2011). His forthcoming book entitled:  Dendrimers, Dendrons and Dendritic Polymers:  Discovery, Applications and the Future coauthored with J.B. Christensen and U. Boas will be available in May 2012 (Cambridge University Press). 

Tomalia is a pioneering force in dendritic polymers which are now accepted as the fourth major class of polymers.  He has become recognized as an international focal point and catalyst for activities related to dendrimer-based nanotechnology and nanomedicine. His extensive studies on dendrimers provided him a window to recent work concerning a systematic framework for defining and unifying nanoscience.  The concept proposes the application of traditional first principles to discrete nano building blocks (i.e., nano-element categories) that behave like atoms. These nano-element categories exhibit stoichiometries, heuristic surface chemistries and nano-periodic property patterns/relationships normally associated with atoms. This framework has provided first steps toward recent Mendeleev-like nano-periodic tables for predicting critical nano-physico-chemical properties.  These nano-periodic tables may be used to establish risk and benefit boundaries for designing new nano-compounds/assemblies.  This work portends the new emerging fields of stoichiometric “synthetic inorganic and organic nano-chemistry.”   Published reviews of this new concept includes:  “In Quest of a Systematic Framework for Unifying and Defining Nanoscience,” J. of Nanoparticle Research, 11, 1251 (2009) and “Dendrons/Dendrimers:  Quantized, Nano-element Like Building Blocks for Soft-Soft and Soft-Hard Nano-compound Synthesis,” Soft Matter, 6, 456 (2010).

The Wallace H. Carothers Award was established by the Delaware Section of the American Chemical Society in 1976 in memory of Wallace H. Carothers, one of the founders of modern polymer chemistry.   The purpose of the award is to honor scientific innovators who have made outstanding contributions and advances in industrial applications of chemistry.  More information about past awardees can be found at .