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Bio-inspired polymer synthesis enhances structure control
Date:5/3/2012

Zetterlund: they have a wide-range of molecular weights, the monomer sequence distribution along the chain is difficult to control and the length of the chain cannot be predetermined.

"One of the long-standing goals in synthetic polymer chemistry is to be able to synthesise polymers of well-defined microstructure," says Zetterlund. "Our approach offers much better control over molecular weight distributions, gives access to higher molecular weights, and offers potential to control tacticity and monomer sequence distribution."

This allows researchers to better control the physical and mechanical properties of the polymer, which determines its functionality, and could enable sequence-controlled polymerisation and thus controlled polymer folding, two pinnacles of polymer science, says Zetterlund.

"The overall structure in biopolymers is dictated by how the polymer chains fold or arrange themselves in space as exemplified by the DNA double helix," explains Zetterlund. "To be able to mimic such behaviour, it is necessary to be able to prepare polymers with very specific distributions of monomers along the chain."


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Contact: Myles Gough
myles.gough@unsw.edu.au
61-029-385-1933
University of New South Wales
Source:Eurekalert

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