|500. Müllner, M.; Müller, A.H.E.: Cylindrical Polymer Brushes – Anisotropic Building Blocks, Unimolecular Templates and Particulate Nanocarriers (Feature Article), Polymer published online on March 29 (2016) -- DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2016.03.076|
This article presents an overview of the latest key developments and research activities in the area of cylindrical polymer brushes (CPBs), also known as ‘molecular bottlebrushes’. CPBs consist of a polymer backbone containing polymer side chains that cause the backbone to extend and adopt a worm-like conformation. The extent of backbone stretching and the aspect ratio of CPBs is determined by the length and grafting density of the side chains. The latest developments in controlled/living polymerisation techniques led to novel and more efficient ways of producing delicate polymer architectures, such as block copolymer CPBs, and resulted in a considerable expansion of the field of application for these soft anisotropic materials. In this feature article, we focus on important recent findings and applications in the areas concerning solution and bulk self-assembly of block copolymer CPBs, unimolecular templating and brush-based drug delivery systems in nanomedicine.