AIChE Journal Highlight: Challenges and Future Outlooks for Protein-Polymer Conjugates


Protein-polymer conjugates are created either by covalently attaching synthetic polymers to proteins or by growing polymers directly from the protein surface. The latter is known as a “grafting-from” approach, which takes advantage of radical polymerization techniques, either atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) or reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT). The grafting-from approach is beneficial when a dense polymer coating around the protein is desired; however, major challenges in synthesis, characterization, and application have prevented the widespread use of protein-polymer conjugates.

The societal impacts of protein-polymer conjugates are apparent in the therapeutics sector, but have been virtually nonexistent in other industries, such as biofuel or agrochemical production. The current limitations of these complex materials and ways to overcome them are discussed in the September AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Next Generation Protein-Polymer Conjugates,” by Alan J. Russell (Carnegie Mellon Univ.) and coworkers.

Polymers are attached to proteins to modulate their biologic activities while adding new functionalities. The possible combinations of proteins and polymers that can be used to create different protein-polymer conjugate variants are virtually...

Would you like to access the complete CEP Article?

No problem. You just have to complete the following steps.

You have completed 0 of 2 steps.

  1. Log in

    You must be logged in to view this content. Log in now.

  2. AIChE Membership

    You must be an AIChE member to view this article. Join now.

Copyright Permissions: 

Would you like to reuse content from CEP Magazine? It’s easy to request permission to reuse content. Simply click here to connect instantly to licensing services, where you can choose from a list of options regarding how you would like to reuse the desired content and complete the transaction.