Combination of DNA with polymers
The combination of DNA with synthetic polymers paves the way to advanced materials with appealing features, which exploits both the wisdom from nature and the synthetic strength of polymer chemistry. Thus, the last decade witnessed the booming development of this field. This review aims to provide a comprehensive and timely summary of the progress in the past 5 years. First, the background of DNA as a functional building block is provided, and the status quo for DNA modification, editing, and regulating is briefly introduced, followed by highlights of the routes and strategies for generating powerful DNA-containing polymers in the form of macromolecules, supramolecules, and hydrogels. Special attention is paid to the contribution of polymer chemistry to the advances of DNA-containing materials, including click chemistry, controlled radical polymerization, and supramolecular assembly. Then the applications of DNA-containing polymers in the fields of biosensors, drug release, shape-memory materials, and biocompatible media are presented. Lastly, the review provides an overlook of the challenges and opportunities for future developments.