One-Pot Route To Brushy, Peptide-Bearing Polymers | September 14, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 37 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 37 | p. 29 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 14, 2009

One-Pot Route To Brushy, Peptide-Bearing Polymers

Synthesis yields peptidic polymers with predictable and highly uniform molecular weights
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: JACS In C&EN
Keywords: brushlike polymers, polypeptide, self-assembly

A novel method to synthesize peptidic brushlike polymers—linear structures with appended peptide “bristles”—could make it easier to create highly uniform polymers for a range of self-assembly applications. The one-pot approach was devised by Jianjun Cheng and Hua Lu of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Yao Lin and Jing Wang of the University of Connecticut (J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja903425x). In the past, brushlike polymers have been made by synthesizing polymers and peptides separately and then combining them. But the resulting products have had poorly controlled molecular weights. The new synthesis produces polynorbornene-g-polypeptides (R = amino acid side chains) with highly uniform molecular weights and reproducible compositions that can be planned in advance. It combines ring-opening metathesis polymerization of norbornene monomers to form the polymer backbone with the use of an N-trimethylsilyl group (N-TMS) to activate polypeptide formation from amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides. The uniform brushlike polymers could be useful for drug delivery and tissue engineering, the researchers say.B

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