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Keywords:

  • biomedical applications;
  • drug delivery;
  • hyperbranched polymers;
  • self-assembly

Abstract

Hyperbranched polymers (HBPs) are highly branched macromolecules with a three-dimensional dendritic architecture. Due to their unique topological structure and interesting physical/chemical properties, HBPs have attracted wide attention from both academia and industry. In this paper, the recent developments in HBP self-assembly and their biomedical applications have been comprehensively reviewed. Many delicate supramolecular structures from zero-dimension (0D) to three-dimension (3D), such as micelles, fibers, tubes, vesicles, membranes, large compound vesicles and physical gels, have been prepared through the solution or interfacial self-assembly of amphiphilic HBPs. In addition, these supramolecular structures have shown promising applications in the biomedical areas including drug delivery, protein purification/detection/delivery, gene transfection, antibacterial/antifouling materials and cytomimetic chemistry. Such developments promote the interdiscipline researches among surpramolecular chemistry, biomedical chemistry, nano­technology and functional materials.