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Keywords:

  • amphiphilic block copolymer;
  • atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP);
  • bioconjugation;
  • controlled release;
  • diblock copolymers;
  • drug delivery systems;
  • micelles;
  • pH-responsive degradation;
  • POEMA;
  • PtBMA

Abstract

New hydroxyl-terminated amphiphilic block copolymers (HO-ABPs) having pendant t-butyl groups for pH-responsiveness and terminal OH groups for bioconjugation are reported. These HO-ABPs consist of hydrophilic poly(oligo(ethylene oxide) monomethyl ether methacrylate) and hydrophobic poly(t-butyl methacrylate) blocks and were synthesized by a consecutive atom transfer radical polymerization in the presence of an OH-terminated bromine initiator. Aqueous self-assembly of HO-ABPs resulted in colloidally stable micellar aggregates being capable of encapsulating hydrophobic guest molecules. They were nontoxic to cells and destabilized in response to low pH. A facile bioconjugation of HO-ABP micelles for active targeting is demonstrated by conjugation with biotin (vitamin H) and competitive assay exhibiting >93% ABP chains conjugated with biotin in each micelle. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2013