American Chemical Society
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Photo-responsive Self-Reducible Polymers: Overcoming the Spatiotemporal Barriers for Hypersensitivity

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-05-04, 15:36 authored by Chuang Weng, Haodong Chen, Taoran Xu, Zifen Li, Xinfu Liu, Mingming Ding, Qin Zhang, Hong Tan, Qiang Fu
To overcome the spatiotemporal barriers to conventional stimuli-responsive polymeric materials, we report a photo-responsive self-reducible polymer with a built-in photo-locked stimulus precursor derived from dithiothreitol. The smart polymer could hierarchically self-assemble into a layered vesicular structure in an aqueous solution, and undergo a self-cleavage of l-cystine residues in the backbone, in response to reducing moieties uncaged by ultraviolet light in the side chains. The photo-generation of stimulus in situ can potentially overcome the steric hindrance and temporal limitation, leading to a site-specific and ultrafast release of payloads for effective delivery of therapeutics. Our work provides a new approach to the development of smart responsive biodegradable polymers.