Dendrimers coated with carbohydrates on their exterior surfaces have b
een constructed by using both convergent and divergent synthetic route
s. Alternatively, cluster glycosides in the form of highly branched ol
igosaccharides can serve as dendritic wedges in the subsequent elabora
tion of fully carbohydrate dendrimers. It is anticipated that these no
vel saccharide-containing polymers, which are highly branched and wate
r-soluble, will find applications of a biological nature as well as in
the context of new materials.