Natural polymers are synthesized and decomposed under physiological conditions. However, it is challenging to develop synthetic polymers whose formation and reversibility can be both controlled under physiological conditions. Here we show that both linear and branched DNA polymers can be synthesized via molecular hybridization in aqueous solutions, on the particle surface, and in the extracellular matrix (ECM) without the involvement of any harsh conditions. More importantly, these polymers can be effectively reversed to dissociate under the control of molecular triggers. Since nucleic acids can be conjugated with various molecules or materials, we anticipate that molecularly regulated reversible DNA polymerization holds potential for broad biological and biomedical applications. Reversible DNA polymerization: Linear and branched DNA polymers were synthesized and decomposed using molecular triggers under physiological conditions (see picture). The polymerization mechanism is based on the well-known hybridization chain reaction.
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