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Issue 4, 2019
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Molecular engineering of polymeric supra-amphiphiles

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Polymeric supra-amphiphiles are amphiphiles that are fabricated by linking polymeric segments, or small molecules and polymeric segments, by noncovalent interactions or dynamic covalent bonds. Compared with conventional amphiphilic polymers, polymeric supra-amphiphiles are advantageous in that they possess dynamic features and their preparation may be to some extent more facile. Moreover, polymeric supra-amphiphiles are endowed with richer structure and higher stability compared with small-molecule supra-amphiphiles. Owing to these properties, polymeric supra-amphiphiles have so far shown great promise as surfactants, nanocarriers and in therapies. In this tutorial review, recent work on polymeric supra-amphiphiles, from molecular architectures to functional assemblies, is presented and summarized. Different polymeric supra-amphiphile topologies and related applications are highlighted. By combining polymer chemistry with supramolecular chemistry and colloid science, we anticipate that the study of polymeric supra-amphiphiles will promote the continued development of the molecular engineering of functional supramolecular systems, and lead to practical applications, especially in drug delivery.

Graphical abstract: Molecular engineering of polymeric supra-amphiphiles

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Article information

08 Oct 2018
First published
25 Jan 2019

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2019,48, 989-1003
Article type
Tutorial Review

Molecular engineering of polymeric supra-amphiphiles

Y. Chang, Y. Jiao, H. E. Symons, J. Xu, C. F. J. Faul and X. Zhang, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2019, 48, 989
DOI: 10.1039/C8CS00806J

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