Advances in the chemistry of dendrimers†
Dendrimers, which are highly branched, multivalent and monodisperse polymers, have received continuous interest in recent years because of the global demand for new nanomolecules that are useful in advanced technology and medicine. While dendrimers are advantageous for many highly specialised applications, the high polyvalency of higher-generation dendrimers requires, however, well-controlled, target-tailored regioselective chemical engineering. The structural evolution of dendrimers – from simple, monofunctional molecules to the more complex, multifunctional compounds – is inextricably associated with a continuous improvement in traditional synthetic strategies, as well as the development of new synthetic tools. The purpose of this review is to provide insight into currently available synthetic methods that yield dendrimers with various morphologies, placing emphasis on the evaluation of their advantages and limitations. In particular, we will review current efforts that focus on simplifying and optimising the existing methods and the development of new strategies that permit control over the targeted introduction of various functionalities in one or more selected areas of the molecule.