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Chem Rev. 2016 Jun 22;116(12):6743-836. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00008. Epub 2016 Jun 14.

Star Polymers.

Author information

1
Polymer Science Group, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The University of Melbourne , Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.
2
Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design (CAMD) and Australian Centre for NanoMedicine, School of Chemical Engineering, UNSW Australia , Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia.
3
Institute of Nanochemistry and Nanobiology, College of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai University , Shanghai 2000444, People's Republic of China.
4
ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science & Technology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University , Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.
5
Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick , Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Recent advances in controlled/living polymerization techniques and highly efficient coupling chemistries have enabled the facile synthesis of complex polymer architectures with controlled dimensions and functionality. As an example, star polymers consist of many linear polymers fused at a central point with a large number of chain end functionalities. Owing to this exclusive structure, star polymers exhibit some remarkable characteristics and properties unattainable by simple linear polymers. Hence, they constitute a unique class of technologically important nanomaterials that have been utilized or are currently under audition for many applications in life sciences and nanotechnologies. This article first provides a comprehensive summary of synthetic strategies towards star polymers, then reviews the latest developments in the synthesis and characterization methods of star macromolecules, and lastly outlines emerging applications and current commercial use of star-shaped polymers. The aim of this work is to promote star polymer research, generate new avenues of scientific investigation, and provide contemporary perspectives on chemical innovation that may expedite the commercialization of new star nanomaterials. We envision in the not-too-distant future star polymers will play an increasingly important role in materials science and nanotechnology in both academic and industrial settings.

PMID:
27299693
DOI:
10.1021/acs.chemrev.6b00008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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