Michael addition reactions in macromolecular design for emerging technologies

Brian D. Mather, Kalpana Viswanathan, Kevin M. Miller, Timothy Edward Long*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

886 Citations (Scopus)


The Michael addition reaction is a versatile synthetic methodology for the efficient coupling of electron poor olefins with a vast array of nucleophiles. This review outlines the role of the Michael addition reaction in polymer synthesis with attention to applications in emerging technologies including biomedical, pharmaceutical, optoelectronic, composites, adhesives, and coatings. Polymer architectures, which broadly range from linear thermoplastics to hyperbranched polymers and networks are achievable. The versatility of the Michael reaction in terms of monomer selection, solvent environment, and reaction temperature permits the synthesis of sophisticated macromolecular structures under conditions where other reaction processes will not operate. The utility of the Michael addition in many biological applications such as gene delivery, polymer drug conjugates, and tissue scaffolds is discussed in relation to macromolecular structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-531
Number of pages45
JournalProgress in Polymer Science (Oxford)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006 May 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetoacetates
  • Acrylates
  • Bioconjugates
  • Conjugate addition
  • Cysteine
  • Drug delivery
  • Gene transfection
  • Michael addition
  • Tissue scaffolds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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