End-group functionalization and postpolymerization modification of helical poly(isocyanide)s

Anna Croom, Rossella Tarallo, Marcus Weck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This contribution presents the synthesis of helical alkyne-terminated polymers using a functionalized Nickel complex to initiate the polymerization of menthylphenyl isocyanides. The resulting polymers display low dispersities and controlled molecular weights. Copper-catalyzed azide/alkyne cycloadditions (CuAAC) are performed to attach various azide-containing compounds to the polymer termini. After azido-phosphonate moiety attachment the polymer displays a signal at 25.4 ppm in the 31P NMR spectrum demonstrating successful end-group functionalization. End-group functionalization of a fluorescent dye allows to determine the functionalization yield as 89% (±8). Successful ligation of an azide-functionalized peptide sequence (MKLA = 1547 g/mol) increases the Mn from 5100 for the parent polymer to 6700 for the bioconjugate as visualized by GPC chromatography. Analysis by CD spectroscopy confirms that the helical conformation of the poly(isocyanide) block in the peptide–polymer conjugate is maintained after postpolymerization modification. These results demonstrate an easy, generalizable, and versatile strategy toward mono-telechelic helical polymers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2766-2773
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number17
StatePublished - 2016


  • anionic polymerization
  • functionalization of polymers
  • initiators
  • peptide-functionalization
  • telechelics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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