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Radical Approach to Thioester-Containing Polymers

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posted on 12.01.2019, 00:00 by Ronald A. Smith, Guanyao Fu, Owen McAteer, Mizhi Xu, Will R. Gutekunst
A new approach to radical ring-opening polymerization is presented that employs a new thionolactone monomer to generate polymers with thioester-containing backbones. The use of a thiocarbonyl acceptor overcomes longstanding reactivity problems in the field to give complete ring-opening and quantitative incorporation into a variety of acrylate polymers. The resulting copolymers readily degrade under hydrolytic conditions, in addition to cysteine-mediated degradation through transthioesterification. The strategy is compatible with reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization and permits the synthesis of block polymers for the preparation of well-defined macromolecular structures.

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