Reversible Addition–Fragmentation Chain Transfer Synthesis of a Micelle-Forming, Structure Reversible Thermosensitive Diblock Copolymer Based on the N‑(2-Hydroxy propyl) Methacrylamide Backbone
journal contributionposted on 21.05.2013, 00:00 by Yang Shi, Eric T. A. van den Dungen, Bert Klumperman, Cornelus F. van Nostrum, Wim E. Hennink
A diblock copolymer composed of N-(2-hydroxy propyl) methacrylamide (HPMAm) as hydrophilic block and N-(2-hydroxy propyl) methacrylamide dilactate (HPMAm-Lac2) as thermosensitive block was synthesized by reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. To this end, HPMAm was first polymerized with 4-cyano-4-[(dodecylsulfanylthiocarbonyl)-sulfanyl]pentanoic acid as the chain transfer agent and azobisisobutyronitrile (AIBN) as the initiator. The polymerization showed a linear increase in Mn as a function of monomer conversion. The living p(HPMAm) chain (7 kDa) was subsequently extended with HPMAm-Lac2 yielding a diblock copolymer (total Mn of 22 kDa). The copolymer showed reversible thermosensitivity in aqueous solution and self-assembled into micelles with a size of 58 nm (PDI 0.13) above its critical micelle temperature (CMT, 2.1 °C) and concentration (CMC, 0.044 mg/mL) and was soluble below the CMT. Paclitaxel, a hydrophobic chemotherapeutic drug, was encapsulated in the micelles with a loading capacity of 16.1 ± 1.2%. Hydrolysis of the dilactate side groups of the p(HPMAm-Lac2) block converted the copolymer to the fully hydrophilic p(HPMAm) homopolymer, resulting in dissociation of the micelles. In conclusion, the livingness and versatility of RAFT polymerization provide possibilities to synthesize block copolymers with HPMAm and derivatives thereof.
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HPMAmmonomer conversionpropylRAFT polymerizationCMCmicelle temperaturechain transfer agentMnMethacrylamide BackboneA diblock copolymerchemotherapeutic drugloading capacitydilactate side groupsPDIStructure Reversible Thermosensitive Diblock CopolymerAIBNCMTmethacrylamide dilactateblock copolymersdiblock copolymer58 nm22 kDathermosensitive block