(6cy) Orthogonal Engineering of Block Copolymers: Tools, Techniques and Applications

Authors: 
Quadir, M., Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Morton, S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Deng, J., Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research
Shopsowitz, K., Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Murphy, R. P., University of Delaware
Epps, T. H. III, University of Delaware
Hammond, P. T., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mensah, L., Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Application-directed chemical modification of synthetic and natural polymers can generate bio-functional analogues with diverse topology. Synthetic block copolymers with ordered structural hierarchy are powerful fabrication tools for creating self-assembled systems with applied functionality. Robust and sterically stabilized nanostructures, such as conjugates, micelles and vesicles can be engineered from these synthetic block copolymers to design effective and targeted drug delivery vehicles. However, limited availability of functional monomers, synthetic complexity of polymerization, and lack of orthogonality during post-polymerization processes require efficient and modular synthesis of the polymer backbone. Intelligent application of functional-group specific chemistry, multivalent amplification of linear polymers using dendritic building blocks, and hybridization of natural polymers with synthetic macromolecules can open up a wide range of possibilities for the development of bio-inspired materials with desired form and function.