Inhibition of ice crystal growth by synthetic glycopolymers - implications for the rational design of antifreeze glycoprotein mimics

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Matthew I. Gibson, Carl A. Barker, Sebastian G. Spain, Luca Albertin and Neil R. Cameron; Biomacromolecules, 2009, 10, 328-333. [DOI]


A series of structurally diverse polymers, containing either peptide or vinyl-derived backbones, was tested for ice recrystallization inhibition activity, which is commonly associated with antifreeze (glyco)proteins. It was revealed that only polymers bearing hydroxyl groups in the side chain could inhibit ice growth. Furthermore, well-defined glycopolymers were shown to have a small but significant recrystallization inhibition effect, showing that it may be possible to design antifreeze glycoprotein mimics based upon polymers derived from vinyl monomers.