Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Amphiphilic miktoarm star copolymers

Within this project, PeptoMiktoStars were realized through an orthogonal protecting group strategy and should be investigated further regarding their potential as drug delivery systems in the field of drug delivery to inflamed areas in cancer, bacterial infections or autoimmune diseases.

David Schwiertz

Amphiphilic miktoarm star copolymers have a unique internal structure and many attractive properties with respect to solution self-assembly, such as a high density of internal and peripheral functionalities, low CMC values, and high loading efficiency. However, compared to their linear analogs, the complex architecture demands asymmetric polymer arms emanating from a single core, which poses a significant synthetic challenge. 

Polypept(o)ide based miktoarm star polymers, the so-called PeptoMiktoStars, represent a promising new class of amphiphilic systems combining polypeptoids, such as polysarcosine (pSar), with polypeptides to afford materials completely based on endogenous amino acids. While pSar provides stealth-like properties similar to PEG as a shielding material, the polypeptide segment provides a handle for incorporating or attaching of biomacromolecules or drugs. Furthermore, they can be used to introduce stimuli-responsive moieties into the system (e.g. pH- or redox-responsive) or act as a core-forming block due to their tendency to form secondary structures.  


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