Recent advances in the synthesis of well-defined glycopolymers

Sebastian G. Spain, Matthew I. Gibson, Neil R. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

220 Citations (Scopus)


Glycopolymers are receiving increasing interest due to their application in areas, such as glycomics, medicine, biotechnology, sensors, and separation science. Consequently, new methods for their synthesis are constantly being developed, with an increasing emphasis on the preparation of well-defined polymers and on the production of complex macromolecular architectures such as stars. This review covers recent developments in the synthesis of glycopolymers, with a particular emphasis on (i) the use of controlled radical polymerization to prepare well-defined glycopolymers from unprotected monomers and (ii) postpolymerization modification strategies using reactive polymer precursors (including "click" reactions). Recent work on the production of glycosylated polypeptides, which are under investigation as mimics of naturally occurring glycoproteins, is also included. The authors offer some suggestions as to future developments and remaining challenges in this topical area of polymer chemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2059-2072
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological applications of polymers
  • Glycopolymers
  • Living polymerization
  • Synthesis
  • Water-soluble polymers

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