The MDPI Magazine was started a year ago with an idea to provide an overview of recently published papers from MDPI journals that are of broad interest for the natural science community, particularly those in the life sciences. In this way, and reflecting the growing trend in inter- and multi-disciplinary research, the Magazine aims to raise awareness of current advances in a wide range of scientific disciplines.
Guest Commentary by Derek McPhee
Endocytosis is a fundamental process that delivers macromolecules located outside the cell or on the cell membrane to the cytoplasm. It is a necessary process for nutrients to reach the cell, and for regulation of numerous transmembrane receptors. Of the various ways whereby cargo can access the cytoplasm, one of the most researched is the so called clathrin-dependent endocytosis, whose mechanism is relatively well understood. Membrane fragments, along with their contents, enter the cell as vesicles coated with clathrin species. This activity is not only key to the survival and normal functioning of eukaryotic cells, but has also been associated with a variety of pathological states, such as the access of pathogens like virus and bacteria to the cell interior, a number of cancers and other conditions.
1Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Polymer Research IAP, Geiselbergstr.69, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany, 2 Department of Chemistry, Universität Potsdam, Karl-Liebknechtstr.24–25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Abstract: The structures and synthesis of polyzwitterions (“polybetaines”) are reviewed, emphasizing the literature of the past decade. Particular attention is given to the general challenges faced, and to successful strategies to obtain polymers with a true balance of permanent cationic and anionic groups, thus resulting in an overall zero charge. Also, the progress due to applying new methodologies from general polymer synthesis, such as controlled polymerization methods or the use of “click” chemical reactions is presented. Furthermore, the emerging topic of responsive (“smart”) polyzwitterions is addressed. The considerations and critical discussions are illustrated by typical examples.