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Amphiphilic Triblock Phospholipid Copolymers Bearing Phenylboronic Acid Groups for Spontaneous Formation of Hydrogels with Tunable Mechanical Properties

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journal contribution
posted on 13.05.2014 by Surasak Chantasirichot, Yuuki Inoue, Kazuhiko Ishihara
ABA-type triblock copolymers composed of poly­(2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine) (PMPC) and poly­(glycidyl methacrylate) (PGMA) segments (PGMA-block-PMPC-block-PGMA (PMbG)) were synthesized by activator-regenerated by electron transfer atom transfer radical polymerization method. The PMPC segment provided water-solubility and the PGMA segments could react with nucleophile reagents for chemical functionalization. Phenylboronic acid (PBA) derivatives were bonded to PMbG via epoxide group to obtain PBA-connecting phospholipid polymer (PMbB). The PMbB formed hydrogels in aqueous medium spontaneously when it was mixed with poly­(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) aqueous solution due to reaction between PBA groups in PMbB and hydroxyl groups in PVA. The mechanical properties of PMbB/PVA hydrogel were dependent on the length of PMPC segment and pH of polymer solution. According to control of both chemical structure and mechanical properties of the hydrogel, the PMbB is a good candidate for applying in biomedical fields as polymer matrices for cell encapsulation or protein immobilization.