Precision Polymers — Modern Tools to Understand and Program Macromolecular Interactions

Paper published in Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2011, 32, 115-126

Peptide-block-polymer copolymers possess a monodisperse peptide segment with a freely programmable monomer sequence. An overview on the possibilities that arise from these precisely adjustable, functional polymers is presented.

AB-block copolymers composed of a common synthetic polymer part and a monodisperse, monomer sequence-defined segment are considered belonging to the class of “Precision Polymers.” This overview summarizes the possibilities that arise from those precisely adjustable, functional polymers for materials science applications. The freely programmable monomer sequence of the discrete peptide segment allows adjusting properties such as interaction capabilities. This can be exploited to (i) specifically solubilize and transport low molecular weight drugs, (ii) to pack DNA, (iii) to direct crystallization, or (iv) to modulate adhesion behavior of cells on material surfaces. As evident from proteins, the room to improve the precision of synthetic macromolecules will offer plenty of opportunities.