Functionalized Poly-β-Peptides: Synthesis and Aqueous Self-Assembly

Preparation of functionalized poly-β-peptides

    Poly-b-peptides (i.e. polymers of β-amino acids) represent an attractive class of polymers for biomedical applications;  however, investigations of these polymers have been hindered by  the insolubility and limited side-chain functionality of previous examples. We have overcome these limitations through the use of appropriate β-lactams that undergo anionic ring-opening polymerization (AROP) to produce soluble poly-β-peptides. We have also developed a novel strategy that enables facile incorporation of functional groups into the N-terminus of the polymer chain by using acylating agents as co-initiators for polymerization. This method allows us to prepare poly-β-peptides with well defined structures as well as block co-poly-β-peptides.1  


1. Zhang, J.; Kissounko, D.A.; Lee, S.E.; Gellman, S.H.; Stahl, S.S. J. Am Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 1589.