A multifunctional amphiphilic polymer as a platform for surface-functionalizing metallic and other inorganic nanostructures
We designed a new set of polymer ligands that combine multiple metal-coordinating groups and short polyethylene glycol (PEG) moieties in the same structure. The ligand design relies on the controlled grafting of a large number of amine-terminated histamines and PEG short chains onto a poly(isobutylene-alt-maleic anhydride) backbone, via a one-step nucleophilic addition reaction. This addition reaction is highly efficient, can be carried out in organic media and does not require additional reagents. We show that when imidazole groups are used the resulting polymer ligand can strongly ligate onto metal nanostructures such as nanoparticles (NPs) and nanorods (NRs) made of gold cores. The resulting polymer-coated NPs and NRs exhibit good colloidal stability to pH changes and added electrolytes. This constitutes a departure from the use of thiol-based ligands to coordinate on Au surfaces. The present chemical approach also opens up additional opportunities for designing hydrophilic and reactive platforms where the polymer coating can be adjusted to various metal and metal oxide surfaces by simply modifying or combining the addition reaction with other metal coordinating groups. These could include iron oxide NPs and semiconductor QDs. These polymer-capped NPs and NRs can be used to develop biologically-active platforms with potential use for drug delivery and sensing.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Physical Chemistry of Functionalised Biomedical Nanoparticles