The synthesis of polymers made of amino acids has various potential applications such as the preparation of biomimetic biomaterials derived from natural proteins. One well-known method for producing peptide polymers is the polymerization of N-carboxy α-amino acid anhydrides, which was introduced by Leuchs at the beginning of the 20th century. The tendency of N-carboxy α-amino acid anhydrides to oligomerize was noticed by Leuchs himself, but the potential of N-carboxy α-amino acid anhydrides for giving access to large peptide polymers was established in 1947 with the work of Woodward and Schramm.

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