This paper reports on the anionic synthesis of poly(methyl methacrylate) chains end-capped by cyclic anhydride. The method is based on the chemical derivatization of a precursor tert-butyl diester end-group. Compared to the thermal modification, which was previously used, this method allows intermolecular coupling and polymer degradation to be avoided. But up to now, the final anhydride content remains moderate and has still to be improved. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.