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A new synthetic polymer, poly(2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanamide) (PAMPA), is described. It combines the structural features of poly(leucine) and poly(glutamine), its molecular weight averages 42000 D, and it contains ca. 270 residues. A 13C-NMR-tacticity study indicates that it consists of a mixture of syndiotactic (38%), heterotactic (48%), and isotactic (17%) polymer. PAMPA has a tendency to self-organize into a coiled-coil double-stranded helix structure in aqueous solution, as determined by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Molecular modeling of PAMPA shows that the helix formation is driven by repeated intramolecular H-bonds between nearest-neighbor amide groups, and that the structure is further stabilized by hydrophobic interactions between the two lateral Me groups. PAMPA has a neutral structure, is highly water-soluble, and demonstrates temperature stability.

Original publication




Journal article


Helvetica Chimica Acta

Publication Date





2398 - 2408