Dendritic Quaternary-Encoded Oligourethanes for Data Encryption

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2023 Jan 16;62(3):e202214695. doi: 10.1002/anie.202214695. Epub 2022 Dec 12.


The use of sequence-defined digital polymers for data storage and encryption has received increasing attention due to their precision structures similar to natural biomacromolecules (e.g., DNA) but increased stability. However, the rapid development of sequencing techniques raises the concern of information leakage. Herein, dendritic quaternary-encoded oligourethanes bearing a photoresponsive trigger, self-immolative backbones, and a mass spectrometry tag of PEG dendron have been developed for data encryption. Although the sequence information in linear analogs can be readily deciphered by mass spectrometry, sequencing of dendritic oligourethanes cannot be achieved by either primary MS or tandem MS/MS owing to the unique spatial conformation. Intriguingly, the fragmentation pathways of a quaternary dendrimer under MS/MS conditions can be converted to 2772-bit 2D matrices with ≈1.98×1087 permutations, serving as high-strength encryption keys for highly reliable data encryption.

Keywords: Cascade Depolymerization; Data Encryption; Oligourethane; Self-Immolative; Sequence-Encoded.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Security*
  • DNA
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Polymers
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry*


  • Polymers
  • DNA