DNA-inspired hierarchical polymer design: Electrostatics and hydrogen bonding in concert

Sean T. Hemp, Timothy E. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Nucleic acids and proteins, two of nature's biopolymers, assemble into complex structures to achieve desired biological functions and inspire the design of synthetic macromolecules containing a wide variety of noncovalent interactions including electrostatics and hydrogen bonding. Researchers have incorporated DNA nucleobases into a wide variety of synthetic monomers/polymers achieving stimuli-responsive materials, supramolecular assemblies, and well-controlled macromolecules. Recently, scientists utilized both electrostatics and complementary hydrogen bonding to orthogonally functionalize a polymer backbone through supramolecular assembly. Diverse macromolecules with noncovalent interactions will create materials with properties necessary for biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-39
Number of pages11
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrogen bonding
  • Molecular recognition
  • Nucleobases
  • Supramolecular structures
  • Templates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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