The following proposal deals with the synthesis of single chain polymer nanoparticles from a supramolecular approach. To the date, collapse of random coil polymer is done through covalent cross-linking of the chain. In our approach, first we will synthesize block-copolymers with suitable functionalization. The methodology to obtain this block copolymer will be thoroughly studied. Then, the different supramolecular units attached will promote, when triggered, the folding and collapse of a random coil into a well defined nanoparticle. The folding process will be studied with a large variety of techniques such as gel permeation chromatography, diffusion ordered-NMR or atomic force microscopy imaging. Moreover, we will try to control the folding process, as Nature do with biomacromolecules, in order to create well defined architectures. Finally, we will explore the potential applications of this new compartimentalized systems. Thus, catalysis might be one of the most challenging topics, due to folding promotes the existence of different environments to perform reactions. Other applications in the field of semiconducting materials or single-chain imprinting for recognition will be also envisaged.
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