Nano-capsules of amphiphilic poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(bisphenol A carbonate) copolymers via thermodynamic entrapment†
The synthesis of amphiphilic poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(bisphenol A carbonate) (PEG-b-PC) block copolymer is presented here using a simple bio-chemistry coupling reaction between poly(bisphenol A carbonate) (PC) with a monomethylether poly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG-OH) block, mediated by dicyclohexylcarbodiimide/4-dimethylaminopyridine. This method inherently allows great flexibility in the choice of starting materials as well as easy product purification only requiring phase separation and water washing. Collective data from Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and modulated dynamic scanning calorimetry (MDSC) confirmed the successful attachment of the poly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG-OH) and poly(bisphenol A carbonate) (PC) blocks. The preparation of nano-capsules was carried out by sudden addition of water to PEG-b-PC copolymers dispersed in THF, resulting in the controlled precipitation (i.e. thermodynamic entrapment) of the copolymer. Nano-capsules as small as 85 nm ± 30 nm were produced using this simple and fast methodology. We also demonstrate that encapsulating a water-insoluble bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (DGEBA) epoxy resin is possible highlighting the potential use of these capsules as a chemical delivery system.