Polypeptoids: A perfect match for molecular definition and macromolecular engineering?

Authors

  • Robert Luxenhofer,

    Corresponding author
    1. Functional Polymer Materials, Chair of Chemical Technology of Materials Synthesis, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Julius-Maximilian, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
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  • Corinna Fetsch,

    1. Functional Polymer Materials, Chair of Chemical Technology of Materials Synthesis, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Julius-Maximilian, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
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  • Arlett Grossmann

    1. Professur für Makromolekulare Chemie, Department Chemie, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
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ABSTRACT

Precision synthesis of polymers has been a hot topic in recent years. While this is notoriously difficult to address for polymers with a C[BOND]C backbone, Merrifield has discovered a way many decades ago for polypeptides. Using a similar approach, N-substituted polypeptides, so-called polypeptoids have been synthesized and studied for about 20 years. In contrast, the living ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of N-substituted N-carboxyanhydrides was among the first living polymerizations to be discovered. More recently, a surge in new synthetic approaches led to the efficient synthesis of cyclic or linear multiblock copolypeptoids. Thus, polypeptoids can be synthesized either by solid phase synthesis to yield complex and exactly defined oligo- and small polymers or by ROP of appropriately N-substituted N-carboxyanhydrides (NNCA) to give linear, cyclic, or star-like polymers. Together with an excellent biocompatibility, this polymer family may have a bright future ahead as biomaterials. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2013, 51, 2731–2752

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