Polymeric Drugs: Effects of Polyvinyl Analogs of Nucleic Acids on Cells, Animals and Their Viral Infections

  • Josef Pitha
Part of the Polymer Science and Technology book series (POLS, volume 14)


Polymers interact with cells and are distributed in tissues in a manner different from the majority of small molecular weight compounds. These differences may possibly be used in the design and synthesis of new drugs with lower toxicities and diminished side effects. For the successful design of polymeric drugs, in addition to good fortune, it is necessary to acquire a basic understanding of the fate of synthetic polymers in tissues and in the body. This is not an easy undertaking and since there has not been a commercially successful polymeric drug developed, material incentives are minimal. Various classes of polymers have been tested in living systems but there have not been many attempts to investigate their bio-effects systematically. Polyvinyl analogs of nucleic acids are one of the notable exceptions. These polymers were originally synthesized as a tool for the study of interactions on a molecular level, i.e., with nucleic acids and enzymes, but eventually their interactions with cells and tissues were also studied. The interactions of these polymers on the molecular level have been reviewed previously (1). This review contains a list of papers published on these compounds; notably the work of Japanese and German chemists contributing considerably to the understanding of the basic chemistry of these compounds. Presently, after a short summary of the interactions of these compounds on the molecular level, their interactions with cells and tissues will be reviewed.


Nucleic Acid Viral Replication Ribonucleic Acid Murine Leukemia Virus Water Soluble Polymer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josef Pitha
    • 1
  1. 1.Section on Macromolecules Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology National Institutes of Health National Institute on AgingGRC-Baltimore City HospitalsBaltimoreUSA

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