Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.141, No.6, 2630-2635, 2019
DNA-Inspired Strand-Exchange for Switchable PMMA-Based Supramolecular Morphologies
Inspired by nanotechnologies based on DNA strand displacement, herein we demonstrate that synthetic helical strand exchange can be achieved through tuning of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) triple-helix stereocomplexes. To evaluate the utility and robustness of helical strand exchange, stereoregular PMMA/polyethylene glycol (PEG) block copolymers capable of undergoing crystallization driven self-assembly via stereocomplex formation were prepared. Micelles with spherical or wormlike morphologies were formed by varying the molecular weight composition of the assembling components. Significantly, PMMA strand exchange was demonstrated and utilized to reversibly switch the micelles between different morphologies. This concept of strand exchange with PMMA-based triple-helix stereocomplexes offers new opportunities to program dynamic behaviors of polymeric materials, leading to scalable synthesis of "smart" nanosystems.