This review highlights recent interests and applications of disulphide and thiol chemistry in
creating contemporary macromolecular designs. Due to the chemical nature of disulphides and thiols a
wide range of chemical species react with these functional groups to yield a variety of polymers extending
their applications in chemical, biological, physical, material engineering and material sciences.
The review aims to illustrate the versatility and demonstrate the potential of thiol-based chemistries.
The focus is on exploring bio-cleavable disulphides and linking by “clicking” thiols via thiol/other
functional group exchange reactions. Thiol synthesis, modification and functionalization are demonstrated to be highly
attractive and efficient in polymer and material science which in turn have immense application in biological therapeutics
and drug delivery. The review also illustrates the remarkable pliability of synthetic and natural approaches to designing,
optimizing and functionalizing nanostructures and conjugates by thiol chermistry modification. The examples quoted in
the review illustrate the power and versatility of thiols for site specific functionalization, the construction of complex macromolecules
and the generation of both biodegradable disulphides and non-biodegradable bonds which are the tools for
constructing specific therapeutic/drug delivery systems. In addition, the ability of thiols to react with various functional
groups found in a variety of polymer science materials and biological entities such as peptide and related structures will
also be demonstrated. Despite of the fact that research efforts in thiol chemistry are still at the early stages, it is likely that
its true potential will be developed.
Keywords: Bio-cleavable disulphides, disulphide chemistry, macromolecules, nanostructures, thiol chemistry.
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