Influence of additives on thermoresponsive polymers in aqueous media: a case study of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)
Thermoresponsive polymers (TRPs) in different solvent media have been studied over a long period and are important from both scientific and technical points of view. Despite numerous studies on the behavior of TRPs with various additives, the interactions of additives with TRPs are still poorly understood. Moreover, despite the vast available literature regarding the biomolecular interactions between various TRPs and naturally occurring additives, it is not possible to provide a unifying declaration about the behavior of different additives, in particular at the phase transition temperature of the polymer. However, potential reviews that describe the behavior of additives as stimuli upon the phase transition of TRPs are also absent. A lack of sufficient knowledge regarding the responses of TRPs to additives as stimuli has hindered the expansion of the wide spectrum of applications of these polymers. Therefore, it was proposed to review the responses of TRPs in the presence of various additives in aqueous media. In-depth knowledge acquired via a literature survey has drawn our attention towards filling this gap by analyzing the interactions of TRPs with different additives. In this perspective, we have systematically examined the stability, aggregation, and phase transition behaviours of various polymers in the presence of different additives. The perspective on the influence of additives as stimuli on the behavior of TRPs in an aqueous medium will provide new reliable information about intramolecular interactions between interior polymer segments as well as intermolecular interactions between TRPs and additive molecules, which will be helpful for industrialists in the preparation of new polymeric materials for drug-delivery systems.
- This article is part of the themed collection: PCCP Perspectives