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Core Cross-linked Micelles Made of Glycopolymers Bearing Dopamine and Cholic Acid Pendants

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journal contribution
posted on 07.05.2018, 00:00 by Zhiyuan Ma, X. X. Zhu
A series of block glycopolymers bearing galactose, dopamine, and cholic acid (CA) pendants have been synthesized by RAFT polymerization. These copolymers can self-assemble into micelles in water. The dopamine moieties, located near the interface of the core and shell of the micelles, can self-polymerize in a weakly basic solution, stabilizing the micelles in both water and organic solvent (DMSO). The cross-linked micelles are smaller in size than the uncross-linked precursors. Introducing more CA groups into the copolymers promotes the self-assembly to form larger aggregates, controls the cross-linking of the stabilized micelles, and facilitates the encapsulation of hydrophobic compounds such as Nile Red (NR). The amount of CA comonomers added also helps to control the cross-linking density, which affects the loading and release of NR. The core cross-linked micelles displayed a slow but sustained NR release and interact effectively with lectin (RCA120), demonstrating their potential use as a biocompatible multifunctional platform for targeted release of drugs.