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Nat Mater. 2015 Feb;14(2):143-59. doi: 10.1038/nmat4106. Epub 2014 Nov 17.

Smart hybrid materials by conjugation of responsive polymers to biomacromolecules.

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Key Centre for Polymers &Colloids, School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia.
Tyco Fire Protection Products, Mansfield, Texas 76063, USA.
George &Josephine Butler Polymer Research Laboratory, Center for Macromolecular Science &Engineering, Department of Chemistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-7200, USA.
1] Department of Chemistry, The University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK [2] Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, 381 Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.


The chemical structure and function of biomacromolecules has evolved to fill many essential roles in biological systems. More specifically, proteins, peptides, nucleic acids and polysaccharides serve as vital structural components, and mediate chemical transformations and energy/information storage processes required to sustain life. In many cases, the properties and applications of biological macromolecules can be further expanded by attaching synthetic macromolecules. The modification of biomacromolecules by attaching a polymer that changes its properties in response to environmental variations, thus affecting the properties of the biomacromolecule, has led to the emergence of a new family of polymeric biomaterials. Here, we summarize techniques for conjugating responsive polymers to biomacromolecules and highlight applications of these bioconjugates reported so far. In doing so, we aim to show how advances in synthetic tools could lead to rapid expansion in the variety and uses of responsive bioconjugates.

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