"Chemically rich macromolecules: From advanced materials to protein mimics" - Our primary research aim is to create new materials using a combination of principles, many of which are inspired by biology. We will briefly discuss our results on metal-ligand containing polymers and novel hydrogel networks. These materials exploit self-assemble to create unique properties. For example, we present the first metal cation-based anion exchange membranes (AEMs), synthesized by copolymerization and cross-linking of a norbornene monomer functionalized with a water-soluble bis(terpyridine)ruthenium(II) complex and dicyclopentadiene. In addition, the design of simple molecules that mimic the complex structures and functions of biology is at the heart of our work. We will illustrate some of these principles including our newest results in which we have successfully mimicked that biological activity of protein transduction domains like HIV-TAT. The versatility of these synthetic mimics provides the opportunity to discover analogs with superior properties compared to their native sequences. The synthetic approach easily allows doubling the density of guanidine functional groups, which increases the transduction efficiency of the sequences. Cellular uptake studies on three different cell lines (HEK 293T, CHO, and Jurkat T cells) confirm that these synthetic analogs are highly
efficient novel protein transduction domain mimics (PTDMs), that are more effective than TAT49-57 and nonaarginine (R9) and also highlights the usefulness of polymer chemistry at the chemistry-biology interface. This
provides delivery opportunities into primary human T-cells which will also be discussed.