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Issue 1, 2012
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Self-assembly of chiral block and gradient copolymers

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Chiral micelles have a high potential for targeted drug delivery or chiral separation applications. In this contribution the self-assembly of chiral amphiphilic copolymers into chiral structures was investigated. Gradient copolymers could be obtained by statistically copolymerizing the hydrophilic 2-ethyl-2-oxazoline (EtOx) with the hydrophobic chiral R-2-butyl-4-ethyl-2-oxazoline (R-BuEtOx) or racemic RS-BuEtOx monomers. Self-assembly of the gradient enantiopure copolymers was studied by both cryogenic transmission electron spectroscopy (cryo-TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) revealing the formation of spherical micelles in aqueous solution. Additionally, amphiphilic block copolymers were synthesized in a 1-pot-2-step manner. The type of self-assembled structure could be controlled by varying the hydrophobic to hydrophilic ratio within the block copolymer from spherical and cylindrical micelles to sheets and vesicles. When the enantiopure block was replaced by the corresponding racemic block, only spherical micelles could be observed, while the chiral block copolymers with similar hydrophobic content revealed cylindrical micelles.

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly of chiral block and gradient copolymers

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The article was received on 21 Aug 2011, accepted on 11 Oct 2011 and first published on 10 Nov 2011

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06595E
Soft Matter, 2012,8, 165-172

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    Self-assembly of chiral block and gradient copolymers

    M. M. Bloksma, S. Hoeppener, C. D'Haese, K. Kempe, U. Mansfeld, R. M. Paulus, J. Gohy, U. S. Schubert and R. Hoogenboom, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 165
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SM06595E

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