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Polymers 2017, 9(11), 551; doi:10.3390/polym9110551

Strategies to Fabricate Polypeptide-Based Structures via Ring-Opening Polymerization of N-Carboxyanhydrides

Departamento de Química, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, Matemáticas y del Medio Ambiente, Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana, P.O. Box 9845, Correo 21, Santiago 7800003, Chile
Departamento de Ingeniería Estructural y Geotecnia, Escuela de Ingeniería, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, P.O. Box 306, Correo 22, Santiago 7820436, Chile
Departamento de Química y Propiedades de Polímeros, Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Polímeros-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (ICTP-CSIC), Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 August 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polypeptide Containing Polymers)


In this review, we provide a general and clear overview about the different alternatives reported to fabricate a myriad of polypeptide architectures based on the ring-opening polymerization of N-carbonyanhydrides (ROP NCAs). First of all, the strategies for the preparation of NCA monomers directly from natural occurring or from modified amino acids are analyzed. The synthetic alternatives to prepare non-functionalized and functionalized NCAs are presented. Protection/deprotection protocols, as well as other functionalization chemistries are discussed in this section. Later on, the mechanisms involved in the ROP NCA polymerization, as well as the strategies developed to reduce the eventually occurring side reactions are presented. Finally, a general overview of the synthetic strategies described in the literature to fabricate different polypeptide architectures is provided. This part of the review is organized depending on the complexity of the macromolecular topology prepared. Therefore, linear homopolypeptides, random and block copolypeptides are described first. The next sections include cyclic and branched polymers such as star polypeptides, polymer brushes and highly branched structures including arborescent or dendrigraft structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: N-carboxyanhydrides; ring-opening polymerization branched polypeptides; cyclic polypeptides; non-linear polypeptide architectures N-carboxyanhydrides; ring-opening polymerization branched polypeptides; cyclic polypeptides; non-linear polypeptide architectures

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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González-Henríquez, C.M.; Sarabia-Vallejos, M.A.; Rodríguez-Hernández, J. Strategies to Fabricate Polypeptide-Based Structures via Ring-Opening Polymerization of N-Carboxyanhydrides. Polymers 2017, 9, 551.

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