• responsive polymer;
  • block copolymer;
  • nanotechnology;
  • amphiphile


This minireview gives a brief overview on the polymerization of higher aldehydes, discusses current applications of certain polyaldehydes, and points toward potential future applications of these interesting materials. Although it was discovered long ago that several aldehydes can be polymerized, the application potential of these polymers was largely overlooked. This is somewhat surprising as many polyaldehydes show interesting properties such as fast and complete depolymerization triggered by chemical or thermal stimuli. Such stimuli-responsive polymers can be useful materials in many applications in for example nanotechnology or drug delivery. By incorporating polyaldehydes into functional block copolymers even more versatile materials can be created. The increasing number of recent research examples demonstrates the growing interest in polyaldehydes as smart materials and their potential for novel applications. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry