Branched Multi-Functional Macromonomers


This technology is a simplified method of synthesizing branched norbornene monomers to build bottlebrush block copolymers and polymeric star nanoarchitectures, with potential applications in drug delivery, molecular imaging, and materials engineering.

Problem Addressed

Bottlebrush block copolymers and polymeric star nanoarchitectures are polymeric structures with a variety of useful mechanical and biological properties. Importantly, the physical characteristics of the bottlebrushes and stars can be tuned based on the type of polymers used in the synthesis, and using different polymers or polymer combinations can yield bottlebrushes or stars with useful novel properties. The major hindrance to the discovery and industrialization of bottlebrush and star copolymer compositions is the complicated synthesis of the monomeric backbone molecule, and current technologies require intensive reaction sequences, difficult purification steps, and give low reaction yields. These investigators describe a second generation multifunctional monomer synthesis technique that greatly improves the ease and yield of monomer backbone synthesis.


This technology is a method of synthesizing monomeric backbone molecules for use in ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) assembly of bottlebrush and star copolymers. Rather than using a sequential synthesis reaction, this second generation synthesis method uses convergent synthesis techniques to construct the monomeric backbone. This new synthesis technique retains the all of the core functionality of the first generation monomer, but has double the net yield and requires minimal purification steps. Importantly, the monomer backbone still contains the ROMP active functional group in addition to two orthogonal functional groups, which allow addition of variable polymer chains or small molecules by CuAAC click-chemistry and carbodiimide coupling. Additionally, the inventors demonstrate successful construction of star polymeric nanoparticles and bottlebrush copolymers using backbones synthesized with this method.


  • Convergent synthesis reaction
  • Doubled yield of monomeric backbone compared to 1st generation synthesis (87% from 43%)
  • Hundred gram scale synthesis
  • Simplified purification conditions