Facile production of nanoaggregates with tuneable morphologies from thermoresponsive P(DEGMA-co-HPMA)†
Thermoresponsive polymers are used to produce nanoparticles or nanoaggregates for a wide range of applications such as nanomedicine. However, low-toxicity, thermoresponsive polymers such as methacrylate polymers with short oligo(ethylene glycol) side chains are not readily applicable to the synthesis of nanoaggregates with both spherical and nonspherical morphologies. Here we report the synthesis of a low-toxicity, thermoresponsive copolymer, P(DEGMA-co-HPMA), and describe its application in the RAFT-mediated emulsion polymerization of styrene as a means to produce nanoparticles with tuneable morphology (sphere, cylinder, vesicle and lamella). These nanoaggregates offer considerable potential as a novel platform for the next generation of nanotherapeutics with improved efficacy.