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Stimulus-responsive block copolymer nano-objects and hydrogels via dynamic covalent chemistry

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Abstract

Herein we demonstrate that dynamic covalent chemistry can be used to induce reversible morphological transitions in block copolymer nano-objects and hydrogels. Poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)–poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) (PGMA–PHPMA) diblock copolymer nano-objects (vesicles or worms) were prepared via polymerization-induced self-assembly. Addition of 4-carboxyphenylboronic acid (CPBA) leads to the formation of phenylboronate ester bonds with the 1,2-diol pendent groups on the hydrophilic PGMA stabilizer chains; such binding causes a subtle reduction in the packing parameter, which in turn induces either vesicle-to-worm or worm-to-sphere transitions. Moreover, CPBA binding is pH-dependent, so reversible transitions can be achieved by switching the solution pH, with relatively high copolymer concentrations leading to associated (de)gelation. This distinguishes these new physical hydrogels from the covalently cross-linked gels prepared using dynamic covalent chemistry reported in the literature.

Graphical abstract: Stimulus-responsive block copolymer nano-objects and hydrogels via dynamic covalent chemistry

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Jul 2017, accepted on 28 Jul 2017 and first published on 28 Jul 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY01242J
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017, Advance Article
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    Stimulus-responsive block copolymer nano-objects and hydrogels via dynamic covalent chemistry

    R. Deng, Y. Ning, E. R. Jones, V. J. Cunningham, N. J. W. Penfold and S. P. Armes, Polym. Chem., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7PY01242J

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