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Synthesis and complex self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers with a branched hydrophobic poly(2-oxazoline) into multicompartment micelles, pseudo-vesicles and yolk/shell nanoparticles

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Abstract

We report on the synthesis and self-assembly of poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(2-(3-ethylheptyl)-2-oxazoline) (PEO-b-PEHOx), a new amphiphilic diblock copolymer obtained via microwave-assisted polymerization of EHOx using a new nosylated PEO macroinitiator. The kinetics of the polymerization in different solvents was crucial to optimize the synthesis and revealed a controlled, yet fast polymerization of the AB diblock copolymer. Differential scanning calorimetry proved that PEO-b-PEHOx shows glass transition temperatures below room temperature, making it suitable for a wide range of self-assembly methods, especially under mild and solvent-free conditions. Self-assembly of PEO-b-PEHOx was then performed using film rehydration and solvent switch. In both cases, we were able to show the formation of various complex structures (multi-compartment micelles (MCMs), pseudo-vesicles and yolk/shell nanoparticles) by light scattering, TEM and Cryo-TEM. Our results show that PEO-b-PEHOx is a potent new AB diblock copolymer due to its fast synthesis and unique self-assembly behavior.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis and complex self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers with a branched hydrophobic poly(2-oxazoline) into multicompartment micelles, pseudo-vesicles and yolk/shell nanoparticles

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Article information


Submitted
14 Oct 2019
Accepted
20 Dec 2019
First published
23 Dec 2019

This article is Open Access

Polym. Chem., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Synthesis and complex self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers with a branched hydrophobic poly(2-oxazoline) into multicompartment micelles, pseudo-vesicles and yolk/shell nanoparticles

D. Daubian, J. Gaitzsch and W. Meier, Polym. Chem., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9PY01559K

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