Peptoids are a class of sequence-controlled polymers that provide a versatile platform for the design of bioinspired materials. Solid-phase synthetic methods offer absolute control over the polypeptoid sequence and have been optimized to improve reaction efficiency and versatility. However, these solid-phase strategies rely on the use of reprotoxic and restricted solvents, N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), resulting in significant hazardous solvent consumption and waste generation. Here we report the solid-phase synthesis of peptoids with complete elimination of DMF and NMP and their replacement with greener solvents and binary mixtures to minimize the environmental impact and improve the sustainability of peptoid synthesis. We investigate the resin swelling performance of the green solvents and show that the purity profile and yield of the final peptoids are not adversely affected when compared to those synthesized in traditional solid-phase solvents. Furthermore, we adapt these greener methods for use on automated synthesizers for the synthesis of peptoids with different sequences and longer chain lengths. The replacement of hazardous solvents in solid-phase peptoid synthesis represents an advance in the sustainability of peptoid research, which could improve the translation of peptoids from academic labs to industry.
General information and instrumentation, relevant methods, synthesis and accompanying data; data includes optical microscopy images, calculated swelling ratios, synthetic schemes, UHPLC chromatograms, MALDI-TOF mass spectra, NMR, and detailed protocols for both manual and automated solid-phase peptoid synthesis (PDF)