Synthesis of well-defined glycopolymers and some studies of their aqueous solution behaviour

Neil R. Cameron, Sebastian G. Spain, James A. Kingham, Stefan Weck, Luca Albertin, Carl A. Barker, Guiseppe Battaglia, Thomas Smart, and Adam Blanazs; Faraday Discuss., 2008, 139, 359-368. [DOI] [PDF]

Abstract

Well-defined polymers with carbohydrate residues pendant to the main chain (glycopolymers) were prepared by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerisation. Excellent control over molecular weight and narrow polydispersities (1.1–1.2) were achieved over a range of molecular weights. In addition, efficient synthesis of block copolymers by sequential monomer addition with both hydrophilic and hydrophobic non-carbohydrate blocks was demonstrated. The aqueous solution behaviour of amphiphilic block glycopolymers was investigated, revealing the formation of multivalent carbohydrate-bearing aggregates in solution with the capability for the solubilisation of hydrophobic species (a water-insoluble dye). One such amphiphilic glycopolymer shows by TEM the formation of a worm-like micelle phase. Further investigations of these novel bioactive macromolecular assemblies are underway.