• thermoresponsive polymers;
  • polyoxazolines;
  • F127;
  • small-angle X-ray scattering

A combination of new thermoresponsive statistical polyoxazolines, poly[(2-butyl-2-oxazoline)-stat-(2-isopropyl-2-oxazoline)] [pBuOx-co-piPrOx], with different hydrophobic moieties and F127 surfactant as a template system for the creation of thermosensitive nanoparticles for radionuclide delivery has recently been tested [Pánek, Filippov, Hrubý, Rabyk, Bogomolova, Kučka & Stěpánek (2012). Macromol. Rapid Commun.33, 1683–1689]. It was shown that the presence of the thermosensitive F127 triblock copolymer in solution reduces nanoparticle size and polydispersity. This article focuses on a determination of the internal structure and solution properties of the nanoparticles in the temperature range from 288 to 312 K. Here, it is demonstrated that below the cloud point temperature (CPT) the polyoxazolines and F127 form complexes that co-exist in solution with single F127 molecules and large aggregates. When the temperature is raised above the CPT, nanoparticles composed of polyoxazolines and F127 are predominant in solution. These nanoparticles could be described by a spherical shell model. It was found that the molar weight and hydrophobicity of the polymer do not influence the size of the outer radius and only slightly change the inner radius of the nanoparticles. At the same time, molar weight and hydrophobicity did affect the process of nanoparticle formation. In conclusion, poly(2-oxazoline) molecules are fully incorporated inside of F127 micelles, and this result is very promising for the successful application of such systems in radionuclide delivery.