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Pure Appl. Chem., 2002, Vol. 74, No. 11, pp. 2021-2030

Hierarchical transfer of stereochemical information in synthetic macromolecules*

J. J. L. M. Cornelissen

Department of Organic Chemistry NSRIM Institute, University of Nijmegen, Toernooiveld 1, NL-6525 ED Nijmegen, Netherlands

Abstract: In Nature, a wide variety of complex tasks (e.g., catalysis, transport, and information storage) is performed by biomacromolecules with precise composition, dimensions, and architecture. To achieve the precise organization required for efficient function, structural information is built into the smallest building blocks of biomacromolecules (i.e., amino and nucleic acids) and subsequently transferred in a hierarchical fashion to form larger quaternary structures. These construction principles have been an inspiration for synthetic and supramolecular chemists alike, and a number of synthetic biomimetic helical macromolecules have been reported in the recent literature. Here, some recent developments in the field of helical polyisocyanides will be reviewed in combination with new prospects on the self-organization of protein/polymer hybrid architectures.
* Pure Appl. Chem. 74, 2021-2081 (2002). A collection of invited, peer-reviewed articles by the winners of the 2002 IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists.