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An Efficient and Modular Route to Sequence-Defined Polymers Appended to DNA


  • We are grateful to NSERC, CFI, CSACS, CIHR, and CIFAR for financial support. T.G.W.E thanks CIHR for a DDTP scholarship. C.J.S thanks NSERC for a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship. H.F.S. is a Cottrell Scholar of the Research Corporation.


Inspired by biological polymers, sequence-controlled synthetic polymers are highly promising materials that integrate the robustness of synthetic systems with the information-derived activity of biological counterparts. Polymer–biopolymer conjugates are often targeted to achieve this union; however, their synthesis remains challenging. We report a stepwise solid-phase approach for the generation of completely monodisperse and sequence-defined DNA–polymer conjugates using readily available reagents. These polymeric modifications to DNA display self-assembly and encapsulation behavior—as evidenced by HPLC, dynamic light scattering, and fluorescence studies—which is highly dependent on sequence order. The method is general and has the potential to make DNA–polymer conjugates and sequence-defined polymers widely available.

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