Dendrimers the Size of a Virus

Dendrimers the Size of a Virus

Author: David Bradley

Dendrimers have been constructed that are the size of small viruses. These generation-13 highly branched polymers could have potential as drug carriers and catalysts. Researchers at the Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, USA, and their colleagues constructed spherical particles with well-defined surface chemistries using triazine generation-13 dendrimers in which each successive generation from the central point adds an extra layer of branching. The resulting entities are about 30 nanometers in diameter which sits at the lower end of the viral scale of 20 to 400 nm.

The team used NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and high-pressure liquid chromatography to study their dendrimers and to corroborate their proposed structures. The team suggests that the chemical surface of these materials offers potential for further functionalization as well as hinting at how they might be used as building blocks for more complicated nanoscopic entities.

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