Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 26, 2015
Previous Article Next Article

Thermoresponsive, well-defined, poly(vinyl alcohol) co-polymers

Author affiliations

Abstract

Thermoresponsive polymers have attracted huge interest as adaptable biomaterials based on their reversible solubility behaviour which can be exploited for controlled drug delivery or cellular uptake. The most famous and successful of these is poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), but the thermal transition temperatures that are practically accessible are not physiologically useful. There are some notable examples of synthetic, responsive, polymers that are highly tunable over a physiologically relevant range, but there is still a need for these to be clinically validated in terms of toxicology and immunogenity for in vivo usage, in addition to their widely used in vitro applications. Poly(vinyl alcohol), PVA, is an appealing biocompatible polymer which is already used for a huge range of biomedical applications. Here, PVA is shown to be a highly tunable, thermoresponsive polymer scaffold. RAFT/MADIX polymerization is used to obtain a library of well-defined polymers between 8 and 50 kDa. Selective alkanoylation of the obtained PVA enabled the effect of side-chains, end-groups and molecular weight on the observable transition temperatures to be studied by turbidimetry. It was found that increasingly hydrophobic side chains (acetyl, propanoyl, butanoyl), or increasing their density led to corresponding decreases in cloud point. PVA with just 10 mol% butanoylation was shown to have a thermal transition temperature close to physiological temperatures (37 °C), compared to 70 mol% for acetylation, with temperatures in between accessible by controlling both the relative degree of functionalization, or by altering the chain length. Finally, a secondary response to esterase enzymes was demonstrated as a route to ‘turn off’ the responsive behaviour on demand. This study suggests that PVA-derived polymers may be a useful platform for responsive biomaterials.

Graphical abstract: Thermoresponsive, well-defined, poly(vinyl alcohol) co-polymers

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 22 May 2015, accepted on 29 May 2015 and first published on 01 Jun 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5PY00775E
Author version
available:
Download author version (PDF)
Polym. Chem., 2015,6, 4749-4757
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
  •   Request permissions

    Thermoresponsive, well-defined, poly(vinyl alcohol) co-polymers

    T. Congdon, P. Shaw and M. I. Gibson, Polym. Chem., 2015, 6, 4749
    DOI: 10.1039/C5PY00775E

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements