Synthesis of versatile thiol-reactive polymer scaffolds via RAFT polymerization

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Journal Article
Biomacromolecules, 2008, 9 (7), pp. 1934 - 1944
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Well-defined polymer scaffolds convertible to (multi)functional polymer structures via selective and efficient modifications potentially provide an easy, versatile, and useful approach for a wide variety of applications. Considering this, a homopolymer scaffold, poly(pyridyldisulfide ethylmethacrylate) (poly(PDSM)), having pendant groups selectively reactive with thiols, was synthesized by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Soluble polymers with controlled molecular weights and narrow PDIs were generated efficiently. The versatility of the scaffold to generate random co- and ter-polymers combining multiple functionalities with controlled-composition was shown by separate and simultaneous conjugation of different mercapto-compounds, including a tripeptide in one-step. Conversion of water-insoluble scaffold to peptide-containing water-soluble copolymers was observed to yield nanometer-size particles with narrow polydispersity. The overall results suggest that the well-defined PDSM homopolymer scaffold generated via RAFT polymerization can be a versatile building block for generation of new structures having potential for drug delivery applications via a straightforward synthetic approach. © 2008 American Chemical Society.
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