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PAA-g-PLA Amphiphilic Graft Copolymer: Synthesis, Self-Assembly, and Drug Loading Ability


A well-defined amphiphilic graft copolymer comprising hydrophilic poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) backbone and hydrophobic poly(lactic acid) side chains was synthesized by the combination of reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization, ring open polymerization (ROP), and the grafting-from strategy. A well-defined PtBHBMA homopolymer possessing pendant hydroxyls in every repeated unit was first obtained by RAFT homopolymerization of a OH-containing tert-butyl 2-((4-hydroxybutanoyloxy)methyl)acrylate (tBHBMA) monomer. ROP of lactide was directly initiated by the pendant hydroxyls of PtBHBMA to provide a well-defined poly(tert-butyl acrylate)-g-poly(lactic acid) (PtBA-g-PLA) graft copolymer via the grafting-from strategy without post-polymerization functionality transformation. The hydrophobic PtBA backbone was selectively hydrolyzed into hydrophilic PAA backbone so as to afford the target well-defined PAA-g-PLA amphiphilic graft copolymer (Mw/Mn = 1.17) possessing equally-distributed carboxyls along the backbone. PAA-g-PLA amphiphilic graft copolymer shows pH-responsive micellization behavior and it can self-assemble into spheres under certain conditions. Doxorubicin (DOX) can be loaded by the non-toxic micelles self-assembled by PAA-g-PLA graft copolymer and the in vitro accumulative release characteristics were investigated by fluorescence spectroscopy. In comparison with free DOX, the DOX-loading nanoparticles display decreased cytotoxicity against SMMC-7721 and SH-SY5Y cells in 48 h because of a sustained release profile of DOX.

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 May 2017, accepted on 18 Jun 2017 and first published on 19 Jun 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00762K
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    PAA-g-PLA Amphiphilic Graft Copolymer: Synthesis, Self-Assembly, and Drug Loading Ability

    W. Qian, T. Song, M. Ye, P. Xu, G. Lu and X. Huang, Polym. Chem., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00762K

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