Polymer, Vol.48, No.3, 758-762, 2007
Synthesis and characterization of pH/temperature-sensitive block copolymers via atom transfer radical polymerization
In order to prepare well-defined pH-sensitive block copolymers with a narrow molecular weight distribution (MWD), we synthesized a pH-sensitive block copolymer via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) of sulfamethazine methacrylate monomer (SM) and amphiphilic diblock copolymers by the ring-opening polymerization of D,L-lactide/E-caprolactone (LA/CL), and their sol-gel phase transition was investigated. SM, which is a derivative of sulfonamide, was used as a pH responsive moiety, while PCLA-PEG-PCLA was used as a biodegradable, as well as a temperature sensitive one, amphiphilic triblock copolymer. The pentablock copolymer, OSM-PCLA-PEG-PCLA-OSM, was synthesized using Br-PCLA-PEG-PCLA-Br as an ATRP macroinitiator. The number average molecular weights of SM were controlled by adjusting the monomer/initiator feed ratio. The macroinitiator was synthesized by the coupling of 2-bromoisobutyryl bromide with PCLAPEG-PCLA in the presence of triethyl amine catalyst in dichloromethane. The resultant block copolymer shows a narrow polydispersity. The block copolymer solution shows a sol-gel transition in response to a slight pH change in the range of 7.2-8.0. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and NMR were used for the characterization of the polymers that were synthesized. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:pH/temperature-sensitive block copolymers;amphiphilic block copolymer;atom transfer radical polymerization