Supramolecular polymer materials for biomedical applications and diagnostics
Self-assembly is an abundant process in nature and is vital to many processes in living organisms.
- Noteborn, W.E.M.
- 11 December 2017
- Thesis in Leiden Repository
Self-assembly is an abundant process in nature and is vital to many processes in living organisms. During the last decade the fields of supramolecular chemistry and polymer science have made an integrated effort in the design, synthesis and application of supramolecular polymers. Supramolecular polymers rely on relatively weak non-covalent interactions such as hydrogen bonding, solvophobicity and π-stacking to self-assemble using a wide array of natural and artificially designed interaction motifs. Using these principles, both end-functionalized polymers interacting via molecular recognition and stacked monomers self-assembling into one-dimensional structures have been demonstrated. A uniquely naturally-occurring supramolecular polymer is DNA which, apart from its role in genetics, can be used as a building block for both structural and dynamic applications such as making well-organized three-dimensional lattices or reconfigurable and autonomously operating DNA-based devices. As every class of materials has their own advantages, designing multicomponent materials from multiple types of building blocks such as DNA, and supramolecular and covalent polymers, has the potential to create highly advanced, organized and responsive materials both from structural and functional points of view. This dissertation has focused on designing such multicomponent functional supramolecular materials for biomedical applications and diagnostics.