Tectomers are oligomers or macromolecules of α-amino acids linked by peptide bonds. A significant feature of tectomers is their rich hierarchical structure. The R substituent sequence of the side chain constitutes the primary structure of the tectomers. Through the hydrogen bonding of the main chain, the tectomers can also form α helix, β folding and other secondary structures. Furthermore, tectomers with different functional groups on side chain can form accurate tertiary structures, which uses dynamic covalent bonds, such as disulfide bonds, and a variety of non-covalent interactions, such as hydrogen bonds, van der Waals forces, π-π stacking and the others.
Taking the advantages of their unique structural characteristics and good biomimetic properties, tectomers have wide application prospects in the fields of biomedicine, biotechnology, tissue engineering and drug transportation.
Figure 1. The stimuli-responsive systems for biomedicine field.
There are many ways to classify tectomers. For example, tectomers can be divided into homo -tectomers and heter - tectomers based on the molecular structure.
The preparation methods of tectomers mainly include solid-state reaction method and ring-opening of N-carboxylic anhydride (NCA) method.
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