Foldamers are artificial folded molecular architectures inspired by the structures and functions of biopolymers. This highlight focuses on important developments concerning foldamers produced by chemical synthesis and on the perspectives that these new self-organized molecular scaffolds offer. Progress in the field has led to synthetic objects that resemble small proteins in terms of size and complexity yet that may not contain any α-amino acids. Foldamers have introduced new tools and concepts to develop biologically active substances, synthetic receptors and novel materials.
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