Preparation of defined and functional polymers has been one of the hottest topics in polymer science and drug delivery in the recent decade. Also, research on (bio)degradable polymers gains more and more interest, in particular at the interface of these two disciplines. However, in the majority of cases, combination of definition, functionality and degradability, is problematic. Here we present the preparation and characterization (MALDI-ToF MS, NMR, GPC) of nonionic hydrophilic, hydrophobic, and amphiphilic N-substituted polyglycines (polypeptoids), which are expected to be main-chain degradable and are able to disperse a hydrophobic model compound in aqueous media. Polymerization kinetics suggest that the polymerization is well controlled with strictly linear pseudo first-order kinetic plots to high monomer consumption. Moreover, molar mass distributions of products are Poisson-type and molar mass can be controlled by the monomer to initiator ratio. The presented polymer platform is nonionic, backbone degradable, and synthetically highly flexible and may therefore be valuable for a broad range of applications, in particular as a biomaterial. © 2011 American Chemical Society.