© WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
March 15, 2012
Polymer Conjugates: A Plethora of Block Copolypeptides
Gijs J. M. Habraken, Andreas Heise, and Paul D. Thornton*
While natural polypeptides with a specific sequence of amino acid constituents adopt structural motifs such as α-helices, β-sheets, and random coils through non-covalent interactions, the occurrence of these features in synthetic polymers is rare. However, extended (homo)polypeptides consisting of a limited number of amino acids that lack a specific sequence can be created by N-carboxyanhydride ring-opening polymerization (NCA ROP) as a synthetically straightforward methodology to afford polypeptidic materials that may adopt secondary structures analogous to those of natural proteins. Such structures may offer biocompatibility in addition to stimuli-responsive and self-assembly properties. Paul D. Thornton and co-workers from Dublin City University offer an insight into contemporary synthetic approaches toward NCA ROP before highlighting a number of block copolypeptide architectures.
Macromol. Rapid Commun., DOI: 10.1002/marc.201100730
Other contributions to the article series on polymer conjugates can be found here.