The future of polyphosphoesters

Timo Rheinberger, Oscar Rabaux, Christine Jérôme*, Frederik R. Wurm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Polyphosphoesters (PPEs) are natural structures that play a crucial role in our lives, such as in DNA, RNA, and pyrophosphates. Drawing inspiration from these highly functional biopolymers, which are biodegradable and biocompatible, extensive research has been conducted to develop synthetic PPEs in recent decades, and this field continues to grow. Synthetic PPEs offer a unique combination of chemical diversity, functional versatility and degradability. The pentavalent nature of phosphorus allows functional pendant groups, branching or crosslinking. Additionally, inherent degradability and flame retardancy can be fine-tuned and adjusted. In this perspective article, we highlight significant recent developments in monomer and polymer synthesis of PPEs, along with their related applications that hold immense market potential for future research and potential industrial developments. We also shed light on synthetic concepts that are exclusive to PPEs and offer intriguing properties, such as adjustable thermo-responsiveness and degradation properties, as well as self-healing adaptable networks. Finally, we provide insights into the potential future directions of the PPEs field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112464
JournalEuropean polymer journal
Early online date29 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2023


  • Degradable polymers
  • Phosphorus
  • Polyesters
  • Ring-opening polymerisation
  • 2023 OA procedure


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