Dendritic macromolecules or “dendrimers” are artificial nanoparticles with precisely defined covalent macromolecular architecture and broad application potential. Their discovery, construction strategies, postsynthetic peripheral modifications, surface-related properties and selected potential applications are the subject of this review. The standard dendrimer is characterized by three distinct zones, the periphery, the interior, and the core. All formation approaches ultimately yield structures with these spatial arrangements. The specific interactions of the dendritic molecules with their local nanoenvironment is determined by factors that include the nature of starting building blocks, the synthetic pathway, and more importantly - the postformation modifications on the periphery of the dendritic globules or to a minor extent - on their interior. The review examines the different chemistries used to tailor dendrimers and their properties for specific applications.
Keywords: branched macromolecules, transformations, polymerization, cross-linking, protection-deprotection, acrylonitrile, intramolecular cyclization, monodendrons, steric hindrance, mark-houwink-sakurada (mhs)
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