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Issue 21, 2017
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Schizophrenic poly(ε-caprolactone)s: synthesis, self-assembly and fluorescent decoration

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Abstract

Double hydrophilic block copolymers (DHBCs) based on poly(ε-caprolactone)s, poly(6-acetoxyl-ε-caprolactone)-b-poly(4-N-piperilactone) (PCCL-b-PPIL), were synthesized via ring-opening polymerization and deprotection. The self-assembly behaviour of these block copolymers in aqueous solutions was thoroughly explored via a combination of UV-vis spectroscopy, zeta potential measurement, 1H NMR spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was observed that “schizophrenic” aggregations were formed and triggered by pH, i.e., the copolymers could self-assemble into PCCL-core micelles at acidic pH and PPIL-core micelles at alkaline pH. In addition, pendant groups in each block of copolymers facilitated further chemical modification with fluorescent dyes such as 1-(hydroxymethyl)pyrene and FITC. The fluorescence properties of pyrene-functionalized copolymers were closely related to their aggregate morphology, which could be adjusted simply by altering the environmental pH values. Meanwhile, it is expected that this novel type of degradable schizophrenic block copolymer holds potential application in stimuli-responsive fluorescent probes.

Graphical abstract: Schizophrenic poly(ε-caprolactone)s: synthesis, self-assembly and fluorescent decoration

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Mar 2017, accepted on 11 Apr 2017 and first published on 12 Apr 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00461C
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017,8, 3261-3270
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    Schizophrenic poly(ε-caprolactone)s: synthesis, self-assembly and fluorescent decoration

    J. Zhang, Y. Xiao, X. Luo, L. Wen, A. Heise and M. Lang, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 3261
    DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00461C

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