Author(s): Walter MV, Malkoch M
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Abstract Dendrimers are highly branched and monodisperse macromolecules that display an exact and large number of functional groups distributed with unprecedented control on the dendritic framework. Based on their globular structure, compared to linear polymers of the same molecular weight, dendrimers are foreseen to deliver extraordinary features for applications in areas such as cancer therapy, biosensors for diagnostics and light harvesting scaffolds. Of the large number of reports on dendrimer synthesis only a few have reached commercial availability. This limitation can be traced back to challenges in the synthetic paths including a large number of reaction steps required to obtain dendritic structures with desired features. Along with an increased number of reaction steps come not only increased waste of chemical and valuable starting materials but also an increased probability to introduce structural defects in the dendritic framework. This tutorial review briefly covers traditional growth approaches to dendrimers and mainly highlights accelerated approaches to dendrimers. A special focus capitalizes on the impact of the click chemistry concept on dendrimer synthesis and the promise it has to successfully accomplish highly sophisticated dendrimers, both traditional as well as heterofunctional, in a minimum number of chemical steps. It is clear that accelerated synthetic approaches are of greatest importance as these will encourage the scientific community to synthesize and access dendrimers for specific applications. The final goal of accelerated synthesis is to deliver economically justified dendritic materials for future applications without compromising the environmental perspective.
This article was published in Chem Soc Rev
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology