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Thermo-Responsive Allyl-Functionalized 2-(2-Methoxyethoxy)ethyl Methacrylate-Based Polymers as Versatile Precursors for Smart Polymer Conjugates and Conetworks

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journal contribution
posted on 24.05.2011, 00:00 authored by Marta Liras, José M. García-García, Isabel Quijada-Garrido, Alberto Gallardo, Rodrigo París
Several thermo-responsive polymers functionalized with allyl pendant groups were synthesized by copolymerizing 2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethyl methacrylate (MEO2MA) and a low ratio of allyl methacrylate (AMA) via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The thermo-responsive behavior in aqueous solution of these P(MEO2MA-co-AMA) copolymers was analyzed, observing that the cloud point temperature (Tcp) decreased with the increment of the hydrophobic AMA units in the copolymer. More interestingly, these polymers bear allyl reactive groups, which can be used to form new thermo-responsive polymers. To demonstrate this synthetic versatility, on the one hand, these polymers were converted into fluorescent polymers by a thiol–ene click reaction between the allyl group and a thiol-functionalized BODIPY dye. On the other hand, they were also employed as cross-linkers for the UV initiated free radical polymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide (N-iPAAm) to form thermo-responsive conetworks structures, which show high swelling capacity and a sharp thermal phase transition in water solution.