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Issue 2, 2014
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Recent advances in amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides and synthetic polypeptides: chemistry, self-assembly and biological applications

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Abstract

Polypeptides are fascinating materials with unique properties for various biological materials. We highlight here recent advances in amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides (NCAs) and synthetic polypeptides from the aspects of chemistry, self-assembly and biological applications. New synthetic methodologies, mechanistic studies and optimization of polymerization conditions for the preparation of well-defined novel polypeptides are comprehensively reviewed and evaluated. Functional polypeptides, mostly prepared from novel NCA monomers, with ultra-stable helical conformation, stimuli-sensitive properties, or glycoprotein mimetics are summarized. We also highlight a number of interesting self-assembled structures of polypeptides in solid state and solution, with particular emphasis on those structures other than amphiphilic self-assembly. The biological applications of polypeptides in drug and gene delivery are also reviewed. Future directions and perspectives are discussed in the conclusion.

Graphical abstract: Recent advances in amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides and synthetic polypeptides: chemistry, self-assembly and biological applications

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Aug 2013, accepted on 15 Oct 2013 and first published on 16 Oct 2013


Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3CC46317F
Citation: Chem. Commun., 2014,50, 139-155
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    Recent advances in amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides and synthetic polypeptides: chemistry, self-assembly and biological applications

    H. Lu, J. Wang, Z. Song, L. Yin, Y. Zhang, H. Tang, C. Tu, Y. Lin and J. Cheng, Chem. Commun., 2014, 50, 139
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CC46317F

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