Contact Details

GSAIS, Kyoto University, 1 Yoshida-Nakaadachi-Cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8306, Japan

saito.kei.1y [at]

Web of Science ResearcherID


Prof. Kei Saito is currently a Professor, Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability (GSAIS), Kyoto University.
He received his B.E. (2000), M.E. (2002) and Ph.D. (2004) degrees from Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. Before joining Kyoto University in Oct 2020, he was an Associate Professor (2019-2020), Senior Lecturer (2016-2018), and Lecturer (2007-2015) at School of Chemistry, Monash University, Australia and JST PRESTO researcher (2015-2019), Japan, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Green Chemistry, University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA (2005-2007) and a Visiting Research Associate at the Graduate School of Science and Engineering and at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Waseda University, Japan (2004-2005). He studied Green Chemistry from one of the founders of Green Chemistry, Prof. John Warner, while he was at University of Massachusetts Lowell and was the member of the ARC Special Research Centre for Green Chemistry at Monash University.

Research Topics

Green chemistry is an academic field in chemistry that is concerned with the design of safe processes and products.

Keywords:  Green Chemistry, Sustainable Chemistry, Circular Economy, Polymer Chemistry, Green Polymers, Biodegradable Polymers, Microplastics, Polymer Recycling, Marine Plastics

The focus of Prof. Saito's research relates to the innovative development of new synthetic methods for the production of novel sustainable polymeric materials, based on the principles of Green Chemistry and Circular Economy and the utilisation of these materials in a variety of industrial applications. For example, Prof. Saito has invented new classes of photodegradable plastics, self-healing coating materials, and biodegradable plastics derived from wood and published 2 book chapters and more than 90 papers through his career. He has published invited manuscripts in special issues of high impact journals, such as in Green Chemistry - Special Issue on Sustainable Polymers; ChemCatChem - Special Issue on Catalytic Conversion of Biomass and Biomass Valorization, and also Chemical Communication – Special Issue on Emerging Investigators, the latter with only a limited number of selected researchers globally invited.

Prof. Saito was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) for his achievements in 2018.

Major Research Achievements

    Selected Referred Journal Articles
    Book Chapter since 2016

  1. J. Dai, A. F. Patti, K. Saito,* ‘Depolymerization of Lignin by Catalytic Oxidation in Ionic Liquids’, Encyclopedia of Ionic Liquids, Zhang S. (eds), Springer Singapore, 2019, pp. 1–12.
  2. L. Lionel, G. Garnier,* K. Saito,* “Lignin biodegradation with fungi, bacteria and enzymes for producing chemicals and increasing process efficiency”, Book chapter in Production of Biofuels and Chemicals from Lignin (Biofuels and Biorefineries; vol. 6), Fang, Z. & Smith, R. L. (eds.). Singapore: Springer, 2016, p. 147-179.

  3. Refereed Reviews since 2016

  4. T. Hughes, G. P. Simon, K. Saito,* “Chemistries and capabilities of photo-formable and photo-reversible crosslinked polymer networks, Mater. Horizons”, 2019, 6, 1762-1773. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 14.356]
  5. S. Tan, K. Saito, M. T. W. Hearn, “Stimuli-Responsive Polymeric Materials for Separation of Biomolecules”, Curr. Opin. Biotechnol, 2018, 53, 20-223. [Impact factor 8.380]
  6. R. Pal, A. K. Sikder, K. Saito,* A. M. Funston,* J. R. Bellare,* “Electron energy loss spectroscopy for polymers: A review”, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 6927 - 6937 [Corresponding author - Impact factor 5.375]
  7. P. Ray, C. Smith, G. P. Simon,* K. Saito,* “Renewable green platform chemicals for polymers”, Molecules, 2017, 22(3), 376, [Corresponding author - Impact factor 2.46]
  8. V. Dao, N. R. Cameron,* K. Saito,* “Synthesis, properties and performance of organic polymers employed in flocculation applications”, Polym. Chem., 2016, 7, 11-25. [Corresponding author -Impact factor 5.520]
  9. J. Dai. A. F. Patti. K. Saito,* “Recent developments in chemical degradation of lignin: catalytic oxidation and ionic liquids”, Tetrahedron Lett., 2016, 57, 4945-4951. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 2.379]

  10. Refereed Journal Articles since 2016

  11. Y. Alqarni, F. Ishizuka, T. D. M. Bell, R. F. Tabor, P. B. Zetterlund, K. Saito,* “Confined polymerisation of bis-thyminyl monomers within nanoreactors: towards molecular weight control”, Polym. Chem., 2020, 11, 4326-4334. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 4.745]
  12. V. Dao, K. Mohanarangam, P. Fawell, K. Simic, R. Ilyer, N. R. Cameron,* K. Saito,* Enhanced Flocculation Efficiency in a High-Ionic-Strength Environment by the Aid of Anionic ABA Triblock Copolymers, Langmuir, 2020, 36, 1538-1551. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 3.557]
  13. C. K. Borrowman, P. Johnston, R. Adhikari, K. Saito, A. F. Patti,* "Environmental degradation and efficacy of a sprayable, biodegradable polymeric mulch", Polym. Degrad. Stabil, 2020, 175, 109126, [Impact factor 4.032]
  14. C. K.Borrowman, M. Bücking, B. Göckener, R. Adhikari, K. Saito, A. F. Patti,* "LC-MS analysis of the degradation products of a sprayable, biodegradable poly (ester-urethane-urea)", Polym. Degrad. Stabil, 2020, 175, 109218, [Impact factor 4.032]
  15. M. Ricci, M. G.T.A. Rutten, S. Toyouchi, S. Nanayakkara, B. Fortuni, R. Vitale, S. Rocha, D. A. Wilson, J. Hofkens, K. Saito*, and Hiroshi Uji-i* "Two-Photon-Induced [2 + 2] Cycloaddition of Bis-thymines: A Biocompatible and Reversible Approach", ACS Omega 2020, 5, 11547–11552. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 2.87]
  16. L. Longe, G. Garnier, K. Saito,* “Linear Bio-Based Water Soluble Aromatic Polymers from Syringic Acid, S Type Degra-dation Fragment from Lignin”, J. Polym. Sci., 2020, 58, 540–547. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 2.97]
  17. A. M. Mahmoud, J. P. Morrow, D. Pizzi, S. Nanayakkara, T. P. Davis, K. Saito, K. Kempe, “Nonionic Water-Soluble and Cytocompatible Poly(amide acrylate)s”, Macromolecules, 2020, 53, 693-701. [Impact factor 5.997]
  18. G. A. Hurst. J. C. Slootweg, A. M. Balu, M. S. Climent-Bellido, A. Gomera, P. Gomez, R. Luque, L. Mammino, R. A. Spanevello, K. Saito, J. G. Ibanez “International Perspectives on Green and Sustainable Chemistry Education via Systems Thinking”, J. Chem. Educ. 2019, 96, 2794-2804 [Impact factor 1.385]
  19. V. Dao, N. R. Cameron,* K. Saito,* “Synthesis of UHMW Star-Shaped AB Block Copolymers and Their Flocculation Efficiency in High-Ionic-Strength Environments”, Macromolecules, 2019, 52, 7613-7624[Corresponding author - Impact factor 5.997]
  20. R. W. Lewis, N. Malic, K. Saito, R. A. Evans,* N. R. Cameron,* “Ultra-high molecular weight linear coordination polymers with terpyridine ligands”, Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 6174-6183. [Impact factor 9.556]
  21. Y. Alqarni, T. D. M. Bell, R. F. Tabor, K. Saito,* “Topologically controlled synthesis of reversible macrocyclic compounds in microemulsions”, J. Org. Chem., 2019, 84, 8596-8601. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 4.745]
  22. T. Hughes, G. P. Simon,* K. Saito,* “Light-Healable Epoxy Polymer Networks via Anthracene Dimer Scission of Diamine Crosslinker”, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2019, 11, 19429-19443. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 8.456]
  23. J. Dai, A. F. Patti,* G. N. Styles, S. Nanayakkara, L. Spiccia, F. Arena, C. Italiano, K. Saito,* “Lignin oxidation by MnO2 under the irradiation of blue light”, Green Chem., 2019, 21, 2005-2014. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 9.405]
  24. P. Ray, C. Smith, K. Saito,* G. P. Simon,* “Development of bio-acrylic polymers from Cyrene™: transforming a green solvent to a green polymer”, Polym. Chem., 2019, 10, 3334-3341. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 4.760]
  25. T. Hughes, G. P. Simon,* K. Saito,* “Photocuring of 4-arm coumarin-functionalised monomers to form highly photoreversible crosslinked epoxy coatings”, Polym. Chem., 2019, 10, 2134-2142. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 4.760]
  26. M. Abdallh, C. Yoshikawa, M. Hearn, G. P Simon,* K. Saito,* “Photoreversible Smart Polymers Based on 2π + 2π Cycloaddition Reactions: Nanofilms to Self-Healing Films”, Macromolecules, 2019, 52, 2446-2455. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 5.997]
  27. M. Abdallh, P. He, M. Hearn, G. P Simon,* K. Saito,* “Light-Switchable Self-Healing Dynamic Linear Polymers: Reversible Cycloaddition Reactions of Thymine-Containing Units”, ChemPlusChem, 2019, 84, 333-337. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 3.441]
  28. S. B. Kandy, G. P. Simon, W. Cheng, J. Zank, K. Saito, A. R. Bhattacharyya,* “Effect of Organic Modification on Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Dispersions in Highly Concentrated Emulsion, ACS Omega, 2019, 4, 6647-6659. [Impact factor 2.584]
  29. T. Hughes, G. P. Simon,* K. Saito,* “Improvement and tuning of the performance of light-healable polymers by variation of the monomer content”, Polym. Chem., 2018, 9, 5585-5593. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 4.927]
  30. L. Longe, J. Couvreur, M. L. Grandchamp, G. Garnier,* F. Allais,* K. Saito,* “Importance of Mediators for Lignin Degradation by Fungal Laccase”, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2018, 6, 100097-10107. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 6.140]
  31. J. Dai, G. N. Styles, A. F. Patti,* K. Saito,* “CuSO4/H2O2‑Catalyzed Lignin Depolymerization under the Irradiation of Microwaves”, ACS Omega, 2018, 3, 10433-10441. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 2.584]
  32. M. Javid, E. Khera, K. Zia,* K. Saito, I. Bhatti, M. Asghar, “Synthesis and characterization of chitosan modified polyurethane bio-nanocomposites with biomedical potential’, Int. J. Biol. Macromol., 2018, 115, 375-384. [Impact factor 3.671]
  33. M. Javid, M. Rizwan, R. A. Khera, K. Zia,* K. Saito, M. Zuber, P. Langer, “Thermal degradation behavior and X-ray diffraction studies of chitosan based polyurethane bio-nanocomposites using different diisocyanates”, Int. J. Biol. Macromol., 2018, 117, 762-772. [Impact factor 3.671]
  34. P. Ray, C. Smith, G. P. Simon,* K. Saito,* “Synthesis of Bio-acrylic Polymers from Dihydro-5-hydroxyl furan-2-one (2H-HBO) by Free and Controlled Radical Polymerization”, ACS Omega, 2018, 3, 2040-2048. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 2.584]
  35. R. W. Lewis, R. A. Evans, N. Malic, K. Saito,* N. R. Cameron,* “Ultra-fast aqueous polymerisation of acrylamides by high power visible light direct photoactivation RAFT polymerisation”, Polym. Chem., 2018, 9, 60-68. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 5.375]
  36. M. Abdallh, M. Hearn, G. P Simon,* K. Saito,* “Light triggered self-healing of polyacrylate polymers crosslinked with 7- methacryloyoxycoumarin crosslinker”, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 5875-5883. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 5.375]
  37. V. Dao, N. R. Cameron,* K. Saito,* “Synthesis of ultra-high molecular weight ABA triblock copolymers via aqueous RAFT-mediated gel polymerisation, end group modifications and chain coupling”, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 6834-6843. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 5.375]
  38. R. W. Lewis, R. A. Evans, N. Malic, K. Saito,* N. R. Cameron,* “Cleavage of macromolecular RAFT chain transfer agents by sodium azide during characterization by aqueous GPC”, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 3702 – 3711 [Corresponding author - Impact factor 5.375]
  39. A. S. Al-Shereiqi, B. J. Boyd, K. Saito,* “Photo-switchable self-assemblies based on thymine-containing bolaamphiphiles”, ChePlusChem, 2017, 82, 1135-1144. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 2.790]
  40. J. Dai, A. F. Patti,* L. Longé, G. Garnier, K. Saito,* “Oxidized lignin depolymerisation using formate ionic liquid as catalyst and solvent”, ChemCatChem, 2017, 9, 2684-2690, [Corresponding author -Impact factor 4.724]
  41. R. Sepehrifar, R. I. Boysen, B. Danylec, Y. Yang, K. Saito, M. T.W. Hearn, Design, synthesis and application of a new class of stimuli-responsive separation materials, Anal. Chim. Acta, 2017, 963, 153-163. [Impact factor 4.950]
  42. A. Udagawa, P. Johnston, H. Uekusa, H. Koshima, K. Saito,* T. Asahi,* Solid–State Photochemical Reaction of Multisubstituted Thymine Derivatives, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2016, 4, 6107-6114. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 5.267]
  43. A. Udagawa, P. Johnston, A. Sakon, R. Toyoshima, H. Uekusa, H. Koshima, K. Saito,* T. Asahi,* Crystal-to-crystal photo-reversible polymerization mechanium of bis-thymine derivative. RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 107317-107322. [Corresponding author - Impact factor 3.289]
  44. J. Dai, S. Nanayakkara, T. C. Lamb, A. J, Clark, S. Guo. J. Zhang, A. F. Patti, K. Saito,* “Effect of the N-based ligands in copper complexes for depolymerisation of lignin”, New J. Chem., 2016, 40, 3511-3519 [Corresponding author -Impact factor 3.086]
  45. R. Sepehrifar, R. I. Boysen, B. Danylec, Y. Yang, K. Saito, M. T.W. Hearn,* Application of pH-responsive poly(2-dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate)-block-poly(acrylic acid) coatings for the open-tubular capillary electrochromatographic analysis of acidic and basic compounds, Anal. Chim. Acta, 2016, 917, 117-125. [Impact factor 4.513]
  46. R. W. Lewis, R. A. Evans, N. Malic, K. Saito,* N. R. Cameron,* “Polymeric drift control adjuvants for agricultural spraying”, Macromol. Chem. Phys., 2016, 217, 2223-2242. [Corresponding author -Impact factor 2.616]
  47. Κ. Saito,* Κ. Μiyamoto, S. Nanayakkara, H. Ihara. M. T. W. Hearn, “Poly(N-4-vinylbenzyl-1,4,7-triazacyclononane) Copper Complex Grafted Solid Catalyst for Oxidative Polymerization of 2,6-Dimethylphenol”, Molecules, 2016, 21, 146. [First and corresponding author -Impact factor 2.416]
  48. C. Lin, K. Saito, R. I. Boysen, E. M. Campi, M. T. W. Hearn,* “Static and dynamic binding behavior of an IgG2 monoclonal antibody with several new mixed mode affinity adsorbents”, Sep. Purif. Technol., 2016, 163, 199-205.[Impact factor 3.091]
  49. U. Shaheen, T. W. Turney, K. Saito, W. P. Gates, A. F. Patti,* “Pendant cyclic carbonate-polymer/Na-smectite nanocomposites via in-situ intercalative polymerization and solution intercalation”, Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polym. Chem., 2016, 21, 2421-2429. [Impact factor 3.19]
  50. C. Lin, R. I. Boysen, E. M. Campi, K. Saito, M. T. W. Hearn,* “Studies on the binding sites of IgG2 monoclonal antibodies recognized by terpyridine-based affinity ligands”, J. Mol. Recognit., 2016, 29, 334-342. [Impact factor 2.151]

Patents since 2016

  1. K. Saito, G. Simon, J. Dai. T. Hughes, Photo-polymerisable molecules and cross-linked polymers comprising polymerised residues thereof, Provisional patent application No. 2019900552
  2. K. Saito, G. Simon, P. Ray, A polymerisable composition comprising a vinyl monomer with bicyclic ring structure and a polymer thereof, Provisional patent application No. 2018904787
  3. K. Saito, G. Simon, M. Hearn, M. Abdallh, Acrylate coating compositions comprising a UV light cleavable cross-linking agent. nationall patent application No. 16/122364
  4. K. Saito, G. Simon, P. Ray, Renewable monomer and polymer and formulation produced therefrom, 2017, Provisional patent application No. 2016904726
  5. K. Saito, G. Simon, M. Abdallh, Self healing acrylic coatings based on UV-Stimuli, 2016, Provisional patent application No: 2016902105

Advisory Boards:

  • International Advisory Committee of the 9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry (GSC-9), (2019)
  • Secretary and International Advisory Committee of the 8th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry (GSC-8), (2017)
  • International Advisory Committee of The 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, and 3rd Asia-Oceania Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry (AOC-7, 2018), (AOC-6, 2016), (AOC-5, 2015), (AOC-4, 2013), (AOC-3, 2011)
  • International Advisory Committee of the 7th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry (GSC-7), (2015)
  • International Advisory Committee of The 2012 IUPAC World Polymer Congress 2012 (2011-2012)
  • International Advisory Committee of The 15th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference + 5th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry, (2011)

Invited/Plenary speaker:

  • Invited Speaker: 16th Pacific Polymer Conference (PPC16), Singapore, (2019)
  • Keynote Speaker: Innovation in Polymer Science and Technology 2019 (IPST2019), Bali, Indonesia, (2019)
  • Invited Speaker: 37th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, (2019)
  • Invited Speaker: 5th China-Australia Polymer Meeting (CAPM-5), Guangzhou, China, (2019)
  • Invited Speaker: International Conference on Advanced and Applied Petroleum, Petrochemicals and Polymers, Bangkok, Thailand, (2018)
  • Invited Speaker: The Asia-Oceania Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry (AOC-4), Singapore, (2018)
  • Invited Speaker: RACI National Congress, Polymer Division, Melbourne, Australia, (2017)
  • Invited Speaker: The 6th International Conference on Bio-based Polymers (ICBP2017), Taoyuan, Taiwan, (2017)
  • Keynote Speaker: SQU- Chemistry Conference 2017 Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Muscat, Oman, (2017)
  • Invited Speaker: Green Chemistry New Zealand 2017, Auckland New Zealand, (2017)
  • Invited Speaker: IUPAC International Symposium on Advanced Polymeric Material, Jeju, Korea, (2016)
  • Invited Speaker: 2nd Korea-Australia Polymer Symposium (KAPS2), Gumi, Korea, (2016)
  • Invited Speaker: The 5th Asia-Oceania Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry (AOC-5), New Delhi, India, (2015)
  • Invited Speaker: The 4th Asia-Oceania Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry (AOC-4), Taiwan, (2013)
  • Invited Speaker as Asia Excellence: 61st The Society of Polymer Science Annual Meeting, Yokohama, Japan, (2012)
  • Invited Speaker: Green Science Symposium at Kouchi Universiry, Kouchi, Japan, (2012)
  • Keynote Invited Speaker: 32nd Australasian Polymer Symposium, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia, (2011)
  • Invited Speaker: 6th Global COE International Symposium on Practical Chemical Wisdom, Tokyo, Japan, (2011)
  • Invited Speaker: 11th Green and Sustainable Chemistry Symposium, Tokyo, Japan, (2011)
  • Invited Speaker: The 2010 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies (Pacifichem), Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, (2010)
  • Invited Speaker: 2nd International Conference on Advanced Materials and Practical Nanotechnology (2nd ICAMPN), Jakarta, Indonesia (2009)
  • Invited Seminars: University of Rochester, USA, Aug 2014, The University of Melbourne, Australia, March 2014, The University of Adelaide, Australia, Oct 2013, Deakin University, September 2013, Waseda University, Japan, Feb 2013, The University of Sydney, The University of New South Wales, Australia, Oct 2012, Yale University, New Haven, USA, February, 2010; Mainichi Education Inc, Japan, August, 2009., Flinders University, South Australia, May, 2009

Professional activities:

  • Secretary of the Asian-Oceania Green & Sustainable Chemistry Network (2009-current)
  • Committee member of Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) polymer division (2017- 2019)
  • Treasurer of the RACI VIC branch polymer group (2017-current)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, The American Chemical Society, and The Society of Polymer Science, Japan,