Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry

Cover image for Vol. 51 Issue 14

Special Issue: Responsive Polymers, Particles, and Assemblies

15 July 2013

Volume 51, Issue 14

Pages i–iv, 2979–3080

Issue edited by: Michael J. Serpe

  1. Cover Image

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Image
    3. Editorial
    4. Highlights
    5. Article
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      Cover Image, Volume 51, Issue 14 (pages i–ii)

      Article first published online: 7 JUN 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pola.26785

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      Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAm)-based nano- and microparticles have enormous potential to positively impact human and environmental health. As depicted on the cover and presented on page 3004 of this joint special issue between the Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry and Part B: Polymer Physics, the Serpe Group utilizes pNIPAm-based nano- and microparticles to bind and remove various harmful contaminants from water. Also depicted are visually colored pNIPAm nanoand microparticle-based devices that reflect specific wavelengths of light depending on the distance between two metal layers, which is mediated by the diameter of the device's pNIPAm nano- and microparticles. The devices have been engineered such that their color can be related to the presence of specific species in solutions to which they are exposed.

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      Inside Cover, Volume 51, Issue 14 (pages iii–iv)

      Article first published online: 7 JUN 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pola.26786

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      The effective design of “smart,” environmentally responsive microgels for drug-delivery applications requires effective control over the physical (size, morphology, critical phase transition point, degradability, and intraparticle interactions), pharmokinetic (drug–microgel interactions, drug diffusion through the gel matrix), and biological (protein–microgel interactions, biodistribution, biocompatibility, and cell targeting) properties of the microgels. The fundamentals of designing microgels for drug delivery and examples of both microgels and microgel assemblies engineered for drug-delivery applications are discussed in the accompanying Highlight by Niels Smeets and Todd Hoare on page 3027 of this joint special issue between the Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry and Part B: Polymer Physics.

  2. Editorial

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Image
    3. Editorial
    4. Highlights
    5. Article
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  3. Highlights

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Image
    3. Editorial
    4. Highlights
    5. Article
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      Stimuli-responsive star polymers (pages 2980–2994)

      Dirk Kuckling and Agnes Wycisk

      Article first published online: 22 APR 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pola.26696

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      Stimuli-responsive star polymers with various numbers of arms and compositions can be generated by different polymerization techniques, that is, anionic and controlled radical polymerization (CRP). Their stimuli-responsive behavior in solution or immobilized on a substrate as well as their potential application are reviewed.

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      Microgel particles: The structure-property relationships and their biomedical applications (pages 2995–3003)

      Zhuojun Dai and To Ngai

      Article first published online: 19 APR 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pola.26698

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      Microgels are crosslinked soft particles with a three-dimensional network structure that are swollen in a good solvent. Among them, pNIPAM based microgels received great attention due to their unique thermal transition property. The tunable property and excellent biocompatibility especially make pNIPAM microgels desirable in the biomedical field. The roles of microgels, such as in a drug delivery vector or cell matrix, is highly correlated with their physical properties, including the core–shell structure, the swollen to shrunk transition, and so on.

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      Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) microgel-based assemblies (pages 3004–3020)

      Liang Hu, Avijeet K. Sarker, Molla R. Islam, Xue Li, Zhenzhen Lu and Michael J. Serpe

      Article first published online: 23 APR 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pola.26702

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      The use of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAm)-based microgels for water remediation and sensing/biosensing is highlighted. For water remediation, the microgels are used as a sorbent, which are capable of removing organic molecules from water. Sensing applications rely of the fabrication of pNIPAm microgel-based devices, which exhibit visual color. It is shown that the color of the devices depends on solution temperature, pH, and glucose concentration. This Highlight also details fundamental studies of these color tunable materials.

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      Control of colloidal interactions between microgels with stimulus-responsive properties (pages 3021–3026)

      Yoshitaka Umeda and Daisuke Suzuki

      Article first published online: 22 APR 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pola.26706

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      Microgels can switch their chemical and physical properties upon external stimulus, and the colloidal behavior of microgels is strongly affected by interparticle interactions between them. In this Highlight, Janus microgels and oscillating microgels developed by the group are introduced. In particular, the interparticle interactions of these microgels are discussed.

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      Designing responsive microgels for drug delivery applications (pages 3027–3043)

      Niels M. B. Smeets and Todd Hoare

      Article first published online: 23 APR 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pola.26707

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      Thermally responsive microgels have been widely investigated in the context of controlled release applications. In this Highlight, key design parameters associated with engineering responsive microgels for drug delivery are outlined and several recent examples are discussed to illustrate how these principles have been applied to the synthesis of microgels or microgel-based composites. The existing gap between the fascinating properties observed in the lab and the practical use of microgels in the clinic needs to be bridged.

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      Biohybrid nanogels (pages 3044–3057)

      Smriti Singh, Martin Möller and Andrij Pich

      Article first published online: 13 MAY 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pola.26719

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      Biohybrid nanogels prepared synergistically by recapitulation of well-evolved biological mechanism with tailorable properties can be variedly used for different applications ranging from therapeutics to catalysis. Herein, recent developments in the fields of these biohybrids are illustrated with elucidation of their potential application.

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      Photo-control of biological systems with azobenzene polymers (pages 3058–3070)

      Alexis Goulet-Hanssens and Christopher J. Barrett

      Article first published online: 24 MAY 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/pola.26735

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      Azobenzene-containing polymers offer a tremendous advantage and opportunity over other stimuli-responsive materials to interface with biology. Azobenzene's fast, reversible, and innocuous cis–trans geometrical isomerization when irradiated with light can be leveraged into dramatic intra-molecular and inter-molecular changes when intelligently designed in polymeric materials. From photo-reversible micelles and peptides, to controlled drug release and sensing, the versatility of azobenzene makes it a favored photo-switch to be found in many emerging applications.

  4. Article

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Image
    3. Editorial
    4. Highlights
    5. Article
    1. Synthesis and thiol-responsive degradation of polylactide-based block copolymers having disulfide junctions using ATRP and ROP (pages 3071–3080)

      Na Re Ko, Kejian Yao, Chuanbing Tang and Jung Kwon Oh

      Article first published online: 29 AUG 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/pola.26335

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      A new method using ring-opening polymerization and atom transfer radical polymerization that initiates a new disulfide-labeled double-head initiator for the synthesis of a variety of well-controlled polylactide-based block copolymers having disulfide linkages at block junctions is presented.

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