Vesicles of double hydrophilic pullulan and poly(acrylamide) block copolymers: a combination of synthetic- and bio-derived blocks†
The formation of vesicular structures with average diameters from 200 to 300 nm consisting of double hydrophilic diblock copolymers pullulan-b-poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide) (Pull-b-PDMA) and pullulan-b-poly(N-ethylacrylamide) (Pull-b-PEA) in aqueous solution is described. Bio-derived pullulan was depolymerized and functionalized with alkyne endgroups. Furthermore, azide end functionalized acrylamide blocks PDMA and PEA were synthesized via RAFT polymerization. Individual blocks were conjugated via copper catalyzed azide alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) to afford defined double hydrophilic block copolymers. Aqueous solutions of the synthesized block copolymers showed formation of completely hydrophilic vesicles that were observed via various techniques including dynamic light scattering (DLS), static light scattering (SLS), laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM), and cryogenic scanning electron microscopy (SEM).