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π-Stacked polymers in drug delivery applications

  • Authors: Paolino, M.; Grisci, G.; Giuliani, G.; Zanardi, I.; Andreassi, M.; Travagli, V.; Licciardi, M.; Scialabba, C.; Giammona, G.; Cappelli, A.; Vomero, S.
  • Publication year: 2016
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Key words: Click chemistry; Drug delivery; Pegylation; Polybenzofulvene; Polymer brushes; 3003
  • OA Link:


Polybenzofulvenes are π-stacked polymers, which can be synthesized by spontaneous polymerization of the corresponding monomers without the use of catalysts or initiators. Therefore, they can be obtained completely free from byproducts, impurities, or harmful substances. The absence of any relevant toxic effects and cell viability impairments allows PEGylated polybenzofulvene brushes to be potentially functional in a wide range of biological, biomedical, and biotechnological applications. Moreover, the properties of these polymers, in terms of interaction with pharmacological active agents and the ability to self-assemble into nanoaggregates or a quite compact physical gel useful as drug delivery systems (DDSs), can be controlled by varying side chain moieties. Owing to the important role played by self-assembling DDS in the fields of the material and life sciences, the interaction and the delivery ability of polybenzofulvene polymers with model drug or protein molecules was definitively demonstrated. The present paper reviews the applications of polybenzofulvene derivatives in the drug delivery of a range of different drug molecules ranging from small molecules to peptides and proteins.