Scientists create multifunctional protein-polymer films

A team from MSU, with international and Russian colleagues, has found that mixing dendrimers (tree-like polymers) and proteins induces spontaneous multilayer films. They are easily formed and retain the activity and function ...

Infection-fighting bandages for serious burns

Serious burn victims are immunocompromised and may be missing skin on parts of their body, and this makes them highly vulnerable to bacteria. Thanks to progress in intensive care, they are decreasingly likely to die from ...

'Onion' vesicles for drug delivery developed

One of the defining features of cells is their membranes. Each cell's repository of DNA and protein-making machinery must be kept stable and secure from invaders and toxins. Scientists have attempted to replicate these properties, ...

Danish chemist aims to bring supermolecules to the world

With applications spanning from non-shrink dental fillings to DNA-drugs the so-called dendrimers are a near magical material. Now a chemist from the University of Copenhagen has vowed to make the weird molecules famous.

Nanoparticles help researchers deliver steroids to retina

Hitching a ride into the retina on nanoparticles called dendrimers offers a new way to treat age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. A collaborative research study among investigators at Wayne State University, ...

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Dendrimers are repetitively branched molecules. The name comes from the Greek word "δένδρον" (pronounced dendron), which translates to "tree". Synonymous terms for dendrimer include arborols and cascade molecules. However, dendrimer is currently the internationally accepted term. A dendrimer is typically symmetric around the core, and often adopts a spherical three-dimensional morphology. The word dendron is also encountered frequently. A dendron usually contains a single chemically addressable group called the focal point. The difference between dendrons and dendrimers is illustrated in figure one, but the terms are typically encountered interchangeably.

The first dendrimers were made by divergent synthesis approaches by Fritz Vögtle in 1978, R.G. Denkewalter at Allied Corporation in 1981, Donald Tomalia at Dow Chemical in 1983 and in 1985, and by George Newkome in 1985. In 1990 a convergent synthetic approach was introduced by Jean Fréchet. Dendrimer popularity then greatly increased, resulting in more than 5,000 scientific papers and patents by the year 2005.

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