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

Robert Luxenhofer, Corinna Fetsch, Arlett Grossmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Precision synthesis of polymers has been a hot topic in recent years. While this is notoriously difficult to address for polymers with a C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.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2731-2752
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 19 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: R. Luxenhofer gratefully acknowledges financial support by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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