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Issue 4, 2010
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How controlled and versatile is N-carboxy anhydride (NCA) polymerization at 0 °C? Effect of temperature on homo-, block- and graft (co)polymerization

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Abstract

We have investigated the polymerization of various amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides (NCAs) at 0 °C. Detailed MALDI-ToF analysis of homopolymerizations of three amino acid NCAs clearly confirms that frequently occurring end-group termination and other side-reactions are absent at 0 °C. The polymerization is thus controlled and homo and copolypeptides with low polydispersities, around 1.1, were obtained for soluble polypeptides. MALDI-ToF contour plot analysis confirmed the randomness of the copolymers. The controlled character of the low temperature NCA polymerization was further verified by the successful block copolymer synthesis from polypeptide macroinitiators, which confirms the availability of the amino end-groups for chain extension. Moreover, graft copolymers were obtained by grafting of benzyl-L-glutamate NCA from lysine-containing copolymers. The formation of gels from the graft and corresponding block copolymers was investigated. While for the block copolymers interconnected polymer particles were observed by optical microscopy, the graft copolymers form an open cell structure.

Graphical abstract: How controlled and versatile is N-carboxy anhydride (NCA) polymerization at 0 °C? Effect of temperature on homo-, block- and graft (co)polymerization

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Nov 2009, accepted on 15 Dec 2009 and first published on 27 Jan 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B9PY00337A
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2010,1, 514-524
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    How controlled and versatile is N-carboxy anhydride (NCA) polymerization at 0 °C? Effect of temperature on homo-, block- and graft (co)polymerization

    G. J. M. Habraken, M. Peeters, C. H. J. T. Dietz, C. E. Koning and A. Heise, Polym. Chem., 2010, 1, 514
    DOI: 10.1039/B9PY00337A

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