Simultaneous covalent and noncovalent hybrid polymerizations

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Science  29 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6272, pp. 497-502
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad4091

Doubling down on polymerization

In biology, structural polymers such as cytoskeletal fibers assemble from covalently polymerized monomers through weaker supramolecular interactions such as hydrogen bonds. Yu et al. report the synthesis of cylindrical fibers when three monomers react, two covalently and one in a supramolecular fashion. When the reaction proceeded stepwise, lower-molecular-weight flat tapes formed instead, which suggests that supramolecular interactions helped to catalyze the covalent polymerization.

Science, this issue p. 497

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