The current contribution serves as a critical update to a previous feature article from us (Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2012, 33, 958-971), and highlights the latest advances in the preparation of single chain polymeric nanoparticles and initial - yet promising - attempts towards mimicking the structure of natural biomacromolecules via single-chain folding of well-defined linear polymers via so-called single chain selective point folding and repeat unit folding. The contribution covers selected examples from the literature published up to ca. September 2015. Our aim is not to provide an exhaustive review but rather highlight a selection of new and exciting examples for single-chain folding based on advanced macromolecular precision chemistry. Initially, the discussion focuses on the synthesis and characterization of single-chain folded structures via selective point folding. The second part of the feature article addresses the folding of well-defined single-chain polymers by means of repeat unit folding. The current state of the art in the field of single-chain folding indicates that repeat unit folding-driven nanoparticle preparation is well-advanced, while initial encouraging steps towards building selective point folding systems have been taken. In addition, a summary of the - in our view - open key questions is provided that may guide future biomimetic design efforts.
- intramolecular bonding principles
- modular ligation chemistry
- natural biomacromolecule mimics
- polymeric nanoparticles
- single-chain folding