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Keywords:

  • β-cyclodextrin;
  • host–guest interaction;
  • microgels;
  • photosensitivity;
  • thiol–Michael addition

Abstract

A photoresponsive microgel is designed by the combination of a noncovalent assembly strategy with a covalent cross-linking method. End-functionalized poly(ethylene glycol) with azobenzene [(PEG-(Azo)2)] was mixed with acrylate-modified β-CD (β-CD-MAA) to form photoresponsive inclusion complex through host–guest interaction. The above photoresponsive complex was cross-linked by thiol-functionalized PEG (PEG-dithiol) via Michael addition click reaction. The photoreversibility of resulted microgel was studied by TEM, UV–Vis spectroscopy, and 1H NMR measurements. The characterization results indicated that the reversible size changes of the microgel could be achieved by alternative UV–Vis irradiations with good repeatability.