Archive ScienceWatch



Holger Frey talks with and answers a few questions about this month's Fast Moving Front in the field of Pharmacology/Toxicology.
Frey Article: Dendritic polymers in biomedical applications: From potential to clinical use in diagnostics and therapy
Authors: Stiriba, SE;Frey , H;Haag, R
Journal: ANGEW CHEM INT ED, 41 (8): 1329-1334 2002
Addresses: Univ Freiburg, Inst Makromol Chem, Stefan Meier Str 21-31, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany.
Univ Freiburg, Inst Makromol Chem, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany.
Univ Freiburg, Freiburger Mat Forschungszentrum, FMF, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany.

Why do you think your paper is highly cited?

The work is highly cited since it addresses the central field of application for dendrimers, that of medicine and biology. Since the synthesis is very demanding (multi-step) and the cost of such materials is high, they are unlikely to be successful in materials science, but bear promise for biomedical application. Besides, this review is stringently organized into the areas "diagnostics" and "therapy," which is attractive for the reader who wants to get a quick grasp of the matter. And, of course, it is a review article, not an original publication.

Does it describe a new discovery, methodology, or synthesis of knowledge?

The paper is a review article that gives a summary of the state-of-the-art in the field. Generally speaking, Angewandte Chemie is a mixed journal containing review articles, features, and original contributions. The reviews and features are of course cited very often, which helps to enhance the impact factor of Angewandte Chemie.

Would you summarize the significance of your paper in layman's terms?

The review gives a clear idea, how dendrimers, perfectly cascade-branched polymer structures with a high number of end groups—in fact, resembling perfect trees—can be of use for medical applications, e.g., to obtain improved contrast agents for diagnostic purposes (MRI) or to encapsulate drugs.

How did you become involved in this research and were there any particular problems encountered along the way?

The authors have broad experience in the area of dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers and had already published numerous original contributions in this field prior to the review article.

Where do you see your research leading in the future?

Toward the development of new, functional polymer materials that are of real-world importance for the urgent problems we face in the 21st century at many frontiers.

Do you foresee any social or political implications for your research?

Improvement of therapies and diagnostic tools to cure diseases will always have such implications.

Prof. Dr. Holger Frey
Institute of Organic Chemistry
University of Mainz
Mainz, Germany

Keywords: dendritic polymers, dendrimers, cascade-branched polymer structures, hyperbranched polymers.


2008 : May 2008 - Fast Moving Fronts : Holger Frey