Well-Defined Protein/Peptide-Polymer Conjugates by Aqueous Cu-LRP: Synthesis and Controlled Self-Assembly

Qiang Zhang, Muxiu Li, Chongyu Zhu, Gabit Nurumbetov, Zaidong Li, Paul Wilson, Kristian Kempe, David M. Haddleton

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79 Citations (Scopus)


The synthesis of well-defined protein/peptide-polymer conjugates with interesting self-assembly behavior via single electron transfer living radical polymerization in water is described. A range of protein/peptides with different physical and chemical properties have been modified to macroinitiators and optimized polymerization conditions ensure successful polymerization from soluble, insoluble, and dispersed protein/peptide molecules or protein aggregates. This powerful strategy tolerates a range of functional monomers and mediates efficient homo or block copolymerization to generate hydrophilic polymers with controlled molecular weight (MW) and narrow MW distribution. The polymerizations from bovine insulin macroinitiators follow surface-initiated "grafting from" polymerization mechanism and may involve a series of self-assembly and disassembly processes. Synthesized insulin-polymer conjugates form spheres in water, and the self-assembly behavior could be controlled via thermal control, carbohydrate-protein interaction, and protein denaturation. (Chemical Equation Presented).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9344-9353
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

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