In this review, the power of a classical chemical reaction, the Fenton reaction for initiating radical polymerizations, is demonstrated. The reaction between the Fenton reagents (i.e., Fe2+ and H2O2) generates highly reactive hydroxyl radicals, which can act as radical initiators for the polymerization of vinyl monomers. Since the Fenton reaction is fast, easy to set up, cheap, and biocompatible, this unique chemistry is widely employed in various polymer synthesis studies via free radical polymerization or reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer polymerization, and is utilized in a wide range of applications, such as the fabrication of biomaterials, hydrogels, and core‐shell particles. Biologically activated Fenton‐mediated radical polymerization, which can be performed in aerobic environments, are particularly useful for applications in biomedical systems.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.