Project Details


The long-term goals of this research are the development of new
methods for the modification of the backbone structure of
synthetic poly(amino acids), and the development of such
backbone-modified poly(amino acids) as biomaterials for a variety
of medical applications such as implantable devices, injectable
drug carriers, and biocompatible coatings or membranes.

The specific aims of this proposal are to synthesize several
backbone-modified poly(amino acids), and to investigate some of
their physical, chemical, and biological properties.

The proposed synthetic approach is based on the polymerization of
alpha-L-amino acids via their side chains, resulting in the
incorporation of non-amide bonds into the poly(amino acid)
backbone. Two different methodologies will be explored:

a) Polymerization of trifunctional amino acids by reaction
schemes that include the amino acid side chain. In particular, the
applicability of derivatives of L-serine for the synthesis of a
polyester will be investigated.

b) Polymerization of suitably protected dipeptides by reaction
schemes that include the peptide side chains. The applicability of
this approach for the synthesis of a series of poly(ester amide)-
copolymers will be investigated.

The resulting backbone-modified poly(amino acids) will be
characterized in terms of their physical and chemical properties,
followed by a preliminary toxicological assay. The scope of the
toxicological assay will be limited an no attempt is planned to
establish the suitability of any material for human use within the
framework of this proposal.

In summary, our studies will lead to generally applicable methods
for the structural modification of the backbone of synthetic
poly(amino acids), and to a better understanding of the effect of
various backbone modifications on the properties of the polymer.
In addition, several backbone-modified poly(amino acids) will be
charactrized in sufficient detail to evaluate the potential of these
materials for medical applications.
Effective start/end date1/1/901/31/94


  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences


  • Polymers and Plastics


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