Synthesis and supramolecular self-assembly of thermosensitive amphiphilic star copolymers based on a hyperbranched polyether core

Authors

  • Haiyan Hong,

    1. College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China
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  • Yiyong Mai,

    1. College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China
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  • Yongfeng Zhou,

    Corresponding author
    1. College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China
    • College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China
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  • Deyue Yan,

    Corresponding author
    1. College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China
    • College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China
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  • Yan Chen

    1. College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

A novel amphiphilic thermosensitive star copolymer with a hydrophobic hyperbranched poly (3-ethyl-3-(hydroxymethyl)oxetane) (HBPO) core and many hydrophilic poly(2-(dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) arms was synthesized and used as the precursor for the aqueous solution self-assembly. All the copolymers directly aggregated into core–shell unimolecular micelles (around 10 nm) and size-controllable large multimolecular micelles (around 100 nm) in water at room temperature, according to pyrene probe fluorescence spectrometry and 1H NMR, TEM, and DLS measurements. The star copolymers also underwent sharp, thermosensitive phase transitions at a lower critical solution temperature (LCST), which were proved to be originated from the secondary aggregation of the large micelles driven by increasing hydrophobic interaction due to the dehydration of PDMAEMA shells on heating. A quantitative variable temperature NMR analysis method was designed by using potassium hydrogen phthalate as an external standard and displayed great potential to evaluate the LCST transition at the molecular level. The drug loading and temperature-dependent release properties of HBPO-star-PDMAEMA micelles were also investigated by using indomethacin as a model drug. The indomethacin-loaded micelles displayed a rapid drug release at a temperature around LCST. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 46: 668–681, 2008

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