Novel main chain acid degradable polymer backbones and drug delivery systems comprised of materials capable of delivering bioactive materials to cells for use as vaccines or other therapeutic agents are described. The polymers are synthesized using monomers that contain acid-degradable linkages cleavable under mild acidic conditions. The main chain of the resulting polymers readily degrade into many small molecules at low pH, but remain relatively stable and intact at physiological pH. The new materials have the common characteristic of being able to degrade by acid hydrolysis under conditions commonly found within the endosomal or lysosomal compartments of cells thereby releasing their payload within the cell. The materials can also be used for the delivery of therapeutics to the acidic regions of tumors and other sites of inflammation.
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This invention was made during work partially supported by National Institutes of Health (Grant RO1GM44885-16) and the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. The government has certain rights in this invention.