Issue 8, 2023

Glycopolymers against pathogen infection


Pathogens including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites continue to shape our lives in profound ways every day. As we have learned to live in parallel with pathogens, we have gained a better understanding of the rules of engagement for how they bind, adhere, and invade host cells. One such mechanism involves the exploitation of host cell surface glycans for attachment/adhesion, one of the first steps of infection. This knowledge has led to the development of glycan-based diagnostics and therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of infection. One class of compounds that has become increasingly important are the glycopolymers. Glycopolymers are macromolecules composed of a synthetic scaffold presenting carbohydrates as side chain motifs. Glycopolymers are particularly attractive because their properties can be tuned by careful choice of the scaffold, carbohydrate/glycan, and overall presentation. In this review, we highlight studies over the past ten years that have examined the role of glycopolymers in pathogen adhesion and host cell infection, biofilm formation and removal, and drug delivery with the aim of examining the direct effects of these macromolecules on pathogen engagement. In addition, we also examine the role of glycopolymers as diagnostics for the detection and monitoring of pathogens.

Graphical abstract: Glycopolymers against pathogen infection

Article information

Article type
Review Article
04 Nov 2022
First published
23 Feb 2023
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2023,52, 2617-2642

Glycopolymers against pathogen infection

U. I. M. Gerling-Driessen, M. Hoffmann, S. Schmidt, N. L. Snyder and L. Hartmann, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2023, 52, 2617 DOI: 10.1039/D2CS00912A

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