Protein–polymer therapeutics: a macromolecular perspective
The development of protein–polymer hybrids emerged several decades ago with the vision that their synergistic combination will offer macromolecular hybrids with manifold features to succeed as the next generation therapeutics. From the first generation of protein–polymer therapeutics represented by PEGylated proteins, the field has since advanced, reinforced by the progress in contemporary chemical techniques for designing polymeric scaffolds and protein engineering. Novel polymerization techniques that offer multifunctional strategies as well as a greater understanding of proteins and their biological behavior have both proven to be exceptional tools in the construction of these hybrid materials. In this review, we seek to summarize and highlight the recent progress in these semi-synthetic protein hybrids in terms of their preparation, design, resulting bioarchitectures and bioactivities for their intended bio-applications.