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Characterization of the thermo- and pH-responsive assembly of triblock copolymers based on poly(ethylene glycol) and functionalized poly(ε-caprolactone)

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
752 61 2011 11 PDF Available
Title
Characterization of the thermo- and pH-responsive assembly of triblock copolymers based on poly(ethylene glycol) and functionalized poly(ε-caprolactone)
Abstract

A series of novel triblock copolymers composed of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and poly(ε-caprolactone)-bearing benzyl carboxylate on the α-carbon of ε-caprolatone were synthesized through ring opening polymerization of α-benzyl carboxylate-ε-caprolactone by dihydroxylated PEG. The debenzylation of the synthesized copolymer, i.e., poly(α-benzyl carboxylate-ε-caprolactone)-b-PEG-b-poly(α-benzyl-carboxylate-ε-caprolactone) (PBCL-b-PEG-b-PBCL), in the presence of hydrogen gas using different levels of catalyst, was carried out to achieve copolymers with various degrees of free α-carboxyl to α-benzyl-ε-carboxylate groups on the hydrophobic block. Incomplete reduction of PBCL led to the formation of poly(α-carboxyl-co-benzyl caboxylate-ε-caprolactone) PCBCL in the lateral blocks at 27%, 50% and 75% carboxyl group substitution. The molecular weight and polydispersity of the resultant copolymers were estimated by 1H NMR and MALDI-TOF. Synthesized triblock copolymers formed stable micelles at low concentrations (critical micellar concentrations (CMC) of 0.34–12.5 μg ml−1). Polymers containing carboxyl groups in their structure showed a pH-dependent increase in CMC. As the pH was raised from 4.0 to 9.0, CMC increased from 0.76 to 1.06 μg ml−1, for 27% debenzylated polymer, and from 1.30 to 2.20 μg ml−1, for 50% debenzylated polymers. In contrast, the CMC in polymers without carboxyl group was independent of pH (0.55 μg ml−1). Different changes in micellar size as a function of temperature was observed depending on the degree of debenzylation on the PCBCL block: polymers with 27% degree of debenzylation illustrated a rise in micelle size from ∼38 to 55 nm as the temperature increased above 29 °C, while polymers with 50% debenzylation showed a decrease in micelle size, from ∼52 to 38 nm, with increase in temperature. A similar trend was observed at pH 4.5, 7.0 and 9.0 for polymers containing carboxyl groups on their hydrophobic block. The temperature for the onset of size change and/or the extent of aggregate size change was found to be dependent on the pH of the medium and the polymer concentration. The results point to a potential for the formation of thermo- and pH-responsive micelles from triblock copolymers of PEG and carboxyl substituted caprolactone. The results also imply a potential for the 27% debenzylated PCBCL-b-PEG-b-PCBCL copolymers to form a biodegradable thermoreversible gel with a transition temperature a few degrees below 37 °C.

Keywords
Block copolymers; Poly(caprolactone); Self-assembly; pH-Sensitive; Thermoresponsive gels
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Characterization of the thermo- and pH-responsive assembly of triblock copolymers based on poly(ethylene glycol) and functionalized poly(ε-caprolactone)
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 7, Issue 10, October 2011, Pages 3708–3718
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
100% Money Back Guarantee
Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
Any Questions? feel free to contact us