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Self-crosslinking Assemblies with Tunable Nanostructures from Photoresponsive Polypeptoid-based Block Copolymers

Abstract

Photoresponsive polymers have been receiving tremendous attention for many applications. Here, we report a new family of photoresponsive polypeptoid-based diblock copolymer PEG-b-poly(N-(S-(o-nitrobenzyl)-thioethyl) glycine) (PEG-b-PNSN) by ring-opening polymerization (ROP). The polymerization is well-controlled and a series of copolymers have been obtained with narrow polydispersity. We demonstrate that the cleavage degree of the o-nitrobenzyl (NB) group can reach to 73% with the irradiation time increasing up to 6 hours. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of photoresponsive polypeptoids prepared by ROP. Dependent on the chain length of PNSN, the PEG-b-PNSN diblock copolymers can self-assemble into various morphologies, including spheres, short cylinders and vesicles. More importantly, the thiol groups generated by the UV-irradiation can be spontaneously oxidized into disulfide bonds, which behave as the cross-linker to stabilize the nanostructures with constant morphologies. Further, this oxidation process is reversible in the presence of the reductive reagent glutathione (GSH), resulting in reversible self-crosslinking assemblies. The obtained photoresponsive polypeptoid copolymers are ideal candidates for smart polymeric materials in applications of nanomedicine and nanotechnology.

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Mar 2019, accepted on 15 Apr 2019 and first published on 15 Apr 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9PY00385A
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2019, Accepted Manuscript

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    Self-crosslinking Assemblies with Tunable Nanostructures from Photoresponsive Polypeptoid-based Block Copolymers

    J. Wei, J. Sun, X. Yang, S. Ji, Y. Wei and Z. Li, Polym. Chem., 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9PY00385A

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