Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 59

Search results for: copolymers

59 Copolymers of Pyrrole and α,ω-Dithienyl Terminated Poly(ethylene glycol)

Authors: Nesrin Köken, Esin A. Güvel, Nilgün Kızılcan


This work presents synthesis of α,ω-dithienyl terminated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEGTh) capable for further chain extension by either chemical or electrochemical polymerization. PEGTh was characterized by FTIR and 1H-NMR. Further, copolymerization of PEGTh and pyrrole (Py) was performed by chemical oxidative polymerization using ceric (IV) salt as an oxidant (PPy-PEGTh). PEG without end group modification was used directly to prepare copolymers with Py by Ce (IV) salt (PPy-PEG). Block copolymers with mole ratio of pyrrole to PEGTh (PEG) 50:1 and 10:1 were synthesized. The electrical conductivities of copolymers PPy-PEGTh and PPy-PEG were determined by four-point probe technique. Influence of the synthetic route and content of the insulating segment on conductivity and yield of the copolymers were investigated.

Keywords: chemical oxidative polymerization, conducting polymer, poly(ethylene glycol), polypyrrole

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58 Microwave Assisted Synthesis and Metal Complexes of Some Copolymers Based on Itaconic Acid

Authors: Mohamed H. El-Newehy, Sameh M. Osman, Moamen S. Refat, Salem S. Al-Deyab, Ayman El-Faham


The two copolymers itaconic acid-methyl methacrylate and itaconic acid-acrylamide have been prepared in different ratio by radical copolymerization in the presence of azobisisobutyronitrile (AIBN) as initiator and using 2-butanone as reaction medium using microwave irradiation. The microwave technique is safe, fast, and gives high yield of the products with high purity in an optimum time, comparing to the traditional conventional heating. All the prepared copolymers were characterized by FT-IR, thermal analysis and elemental microanalysis. The itaconic acid-based copolymers showed a good sensitivity in alkaline media for scavenging Cu (II) and Pb (II). The chelation behavior of both Cu (II) and Pb (II) complexes were checked using FT-IR, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetery (DSC). The infrared data are in a good agreement with the coordination through carboxylate-to-metal, in which the copolymers acting as a bidentate ligand.

Keywords: microwave synthesis, itaconic acid, copolymerization, scavenging, thermal stability

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57 Characterization and Properties of Novel Flame Retardants Based on s-Triazine

Authors: Sameh M. Osman, El-Refaie Kenawy, Zeid A. Al-Othman, Mohamed H. El-Newehy, El-Saied A. Aly, Sherine N. Khattab, Ayman El-Faham


Recently, there has been a huge interest in using cyanuric chloride in a wide range of functional group transformations, as Cyanuric chloride has temperature-dependent differential reactivity for displacement of chlorides with various nucleophiles In the present work, some copolymers based on s-triazine Unit were prepared by microwave-assisted synthesis. For comparison study, the copolymers were synthesized by the conventional method. Synthesized Copolymers were characterized by MP, IR, TGA, DSC and GPC. The result indicated that copolymers are thermally stable and in good in composition and yield. Further studies that involve the test for selected removal of transition elements such as Cu (II), Zn (II) and Mn (II). Moreover, the effects of the polymeric triazine derivatives containing different functional groups which expected to have a good thermal stability and char formation ability on thermal degradation and flame retardancy.

Keywords: flame retardants, heavy metals, microwave-assisted synthesis, s-triazine

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56 Copolymers of Epsilon-Caprolactam Received via Anionic Polymerization in the Presence of Polypropylene Glycol Based Polymeric Activators

Authors: Krasimira N. Zhilkova, Mariya K. Kyulavska, Roza P. Mateva


The anionic polymerization of -caprolactam (CL) with bifunctional activators has been extensively studied as an effective and beneficial method of improving chemical and impact resistances, elasticity and other mechanical properties of polyamide (PA6). In presence of activators or macroactivators (MAs) also called polymeric activators (PACs) the anionic polymerization of lactams proceeds rapidly at a temperature range of 130-180C, well below the melting point of PA-6 (220C) permitting thus the direct manufacturing of copolymer product together with desired modifications of polyamide properties. Copolymers of PA6 with an elastic polypropylene glycol (PPG) middle block into main chain were successfully synthesized via activated anionic ring opening polymerization (ROP) of CL. Using novel PACs based on PPG polyols (with differ molecular weight) the anionic ROP of CL was realized and investigated in the presence of a basic initiator sodium salt of CL (NaCL). The PACs were synthesized as N-carbamoyllactam derivatives of hydroxyl terminated PPG functionalized with isophorone diisocyanate [IPh, 5-Isocyanato-1-(isocyanatomethyl)-1,3,3-trimethylcyclohexane] and blocked then with CL units via an addition reaction. The block copolymers were analyzed and proved with 1H-NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy. The influence of the CL/PACs ratio in feed, the length of the PPG segments and polymerization conditions on the kinetics of anionic ROP, on average molecular weight, and on the structure of the obtained block copolymers were investigated. The structure and phase behaviour of the copolymers were explored with differential scanning calorimetry, wide-angle X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis. The crystallinity dependence of PPG content incorporated into copolymers main backbone was estimate. Additionally, the mechanical properties of the obtained copolymers were studied by notched impact test. From the performed investigation in this study could be concluded that using PPG based PACs at the chosen ROP conditions leads to obtaining well-defined PA6-b-PPG-b-PA6 copolymers with improved impact resistance.

Keywords: anionic ring opening polymerization, caprolactam, polyamide copolymers, polypropylene glycol

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55 A Thermosensitive Polypeptide Hydrogel for Biomedical Application

Authors: Chih-Chi Cheng, Ji-Yu Lin, I-Ming Chu


In this study, we synthesized a thermosensitive polypeptide hydrogel by copolymerizing poloxamer (PLX) and poly(ʟ-alanine) with ʟ-lysine segments at the both ends to form PLX-b-poly(ʟ-alanine-lysine) (Lys-Ala-PLX-Ala-Lys) copolymers. Poly(ʟ-alanine) is the hydrophobic chain of Lys-Ala-PLX-Ala-Lys copolymers which was designed to capture the hydrophobic agents. The synthesis was examined by 1H NMR and showed that Lys-Ala-PLX-Ala-Lys copolymers were successfully synthesized. At the concentration range of 3-7 wt%, the aqueous copolymer solution underwent sol-gel transition near the physiological temperature and exhibited changes in its secondary structure content, as evidenced by FTIR. The excellent viability of cells cultured within the scaffold was observed after 72 hr of incubation. Also, negatively charged bovine serum albumin was incorporated into the hydrogel without diminishing material integrity and shows good release profile. In the animal study, the results also indicated that Lys-Ala-PLX-Ala-Lys hydrogel has high potential in wound dressing.

Keywords: polypeptide thermosensitive hydrogel, tacrolimus, vascularized composite allotransplantation, sustain release

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54 Thermodynamics of Random Copolymers in Solution

Authors: Maria Bercea, Bernhard A. Wolf


The thermodynamic behavior for solutions of poly (methyl methacrylate-ran-t-butyl methacrylate) of variable composition as compared with the corresponding homopolymers was investigated by light scattering measurements carried out for dilute solutions and vapor pressure measurements of concentrated solutions. The complex dependencies of the Flory Huggins interaction parameter on concentration and copolymer composition in solvents of different polarity (toluene and chloroform) can be understood by taking into account the ability of the polymers to rearrange in a response to changes in their molecular surrounding. A recent unified thermodynamic approach was used for modeling the experimental data, being able to describe the behavior of the different solutions by means of two adjustable parameters, one representing the effective number of solvent segments and another one accounting for the interactions between the components. Thus, it was investigated how the solvent quality changes with the composition of the copolymers through the Gibbs energy of mixing as a function of polymer concentration. The largest reduction of the Gibbs energy at a given composition of the system was observed for the best solvent. The present investigation proves that the new unified thermodynamic approach is a general concept applicable to homo- and copolymers, independent of the chain conformation or shape, molecular and chemical architecture of the components and of other dissimilarities, such as electrical charges.

Keywords: random copolymers, Flory Huggins interaction parameter, Gibbs energy of mixing, chemical architecture

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53 Synthesis, Characterization, and Evaluation of New Series of Oil Sorbers Based on Maleate Esters

Authors: Nora A. Hamad, Ayman M. Atta, Adel A. H. Abdel-Rahman


Two malice anhydride esters were prepared using long chain aliphatic alcohols (C8H17OH and C12H25OH, 1:1 mole ratio). Three series of crosslinked homo and copolymers of maleate esters with octadecyl acrylate and acrylic acid were prepared respectively through suspension copolymerization. The monomers were mixed with 0.02 Wt% of BP initiator, PVA 1% (170 ml for each 100g of monomers) and different weight ratios of DVB crosslinked (1% and 4%) in cyclohexane. The prepared crosslinked homo and copolymers were characterized by SEM, TGA and FTIR spectroscopic analyses. The prepared polymers were coated onto poly (ethylene terephethalate) nonwoven fiber (NWPET). The effect of copolymerization feed composition, crosslinker wt% and reaction media or solvent on swelling properties of crosslinked polymers were studied through the oil absorption tests in toluene and 10% of diluted crude oil with toluene.

Keywords: acrylic acid, crosslinked copolymers, maleate ester, poly(ethylene terephethalate) nonwoven fiber (NWPET), oil absorbency, octadecyl acrylat

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52 Hybrid Nanostructures of Acrylonitrile Copolymers

Authors: A. Sezai Sarac


Acrylonitrile (AN) copolymers with typical comonomers of vinyl acetate (VAc) or methyl acrylate (MA) exhibit better mechanical behaviors than its homopolymer. To increase processability of conjugated polymer, and to obtain a hybrid nano-structure multi-stepped emulsion polymerization was applied. Such products could be used in, i.e., drug-delivery systems, biosensors, gas-sensors, electronic compounds, etc. Incorporation of a number of flexible comonomers weakens the dipolar interactions among CN and thereby decreases melting point or increases decomposition temperatures of the PAN based copolymers. Hence, it is important to consider the effect of comonomer on the properties of PAN-based copolymers. Acrylonitrile vinylacetate (AN–VAc ) copolymers have the significant effect to their thermal behavior and are also of interest as precursors in the production of high strength carbon fibers. AN is copolymerized with one or two comonomers, particularly with vinyl acetate The copolymer of AN and VAc can be used either as a plastic (VAc > 15 wt %) or as microfibers (VAc < 15 wt %). AN provides the copolymer with good processability, electrochemical and thermal stability; VAc provides the mechanical stability. The free radical copolymerization of AN and VAc copolymer and core Shell structure of polyprrole composites,and nanofibers of poly(m-anthranilic acid)/polyacrylonitrile blends were recently studied. Free radical copolymerization of acrylonitrile (AN) – with different comonomers, i.e. acrylates, and styrene was realized using ammonium persulfate (APS) in the presence of a surfactant and in-situ polymerization of conjugated polymers was performed in this reaction medium to obtain core-shell nano particles. Nanofibers of such nanoparticles were obtained by electrospinning. Morphological properties of nanofibers are investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force spectroscopy (AFM). Nanofibers are characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared - Attenuated Total Reflectance spectrometer (FTIR-ATR), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1H-NMR), differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. The electrochemical Impedance results of the nanofibers were fitted to an equivalent curcuit by modelling (ECM).

Keywords: core shell nanoparticles, nanofibers, ascrylonitile copolymers, hybrid nanostructures

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51 Modification of Aliphatic-Aromatic Copolyesters with Polyether Block for Segmented Copolymers with Elastothemoplastic Properties

Authors: I. Irska, S. Paszkiewicz, D. Pawlikowska, E. Piesowicz, A. Linares, T. A. Ezquerra


Due to the number of advantages such as high tensile strength, sensitivity to hydrolytic degradation, and biocompatibility poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is one of the most common polyesters for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. However, PLA is a rigid, brittle polymer with low heat distortion temperature and slow crystallization rate. In order to broaden the range of PLA applications, it is necessary to improve these properties. In recent years a number of new strategies have been evolved to obtain PLA-based materials with improved characteristics, including manipulation of crystallinity, plasticization, blending, and incorporation into block copolymers. Among the other methods, synthesis of aliphatic-aromatic copolyesters has been attracting considerable attention as they may combine the mechanical performance of aromatic polyesters with biodegradability known from aliphatic ones. Given the need for highly flexible biodegradable polymers, in this contribution, a series of aromatic-aliphatic based on poly(butylene terephthalate) and poly(lactic acid) (PBT-b-PLA) copolyesters exhibiting superior mechanical properties were copolymerized with an additional poly(tetramethylene oxide) (PTMO) soft block. The structure and properties of both series were characterized by means of attenuated total reflectance – Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (¹H NMR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) and dynamic mechanical, thermal analysis (DMTA). Moreover, the related changes in tensile properties have been evaluated and discussed. Lastly, the viscoelastic properties of synthesized poly(ester-ether) copolymers were investigated in detail by step cycle tensile tests. The block lengths decreased with the advance of treatment, and the block-random diblock terpolymers of (PBT-ran-PLA)-b-PTMO were obtained. DSC and DMTA analysis confirmed unambiguously that synthesized poly(ester-ether) copolymers are microphase-separated systems. The introduction of polyether co-units resulted in a decrease in crystallinity degree and melting temperature. X-ray diffraction patterns revealed that only PBT blocks are able to crystallize. The mechanical properties of (PBT-ran-PLA)-b-PTMO copolymers are a result of a unique arrangement of immiscible hard and soft blocks, providing both strength and elasticity.

Keywords: aliphatic-aromatic copolymers, multiblock copolymers, phase behavior, thermoplastic elastomers

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50 Calcein Release from Liposomes Mediated by Phospholipase A₂ Activity: Effect of Cholesterol and Amphipathic Di and Tri Blocks Copolymers

Authors: Marco Soto-Arriaza, Eduardo Cena-Ahumada, Jaime Melendez-Rojel


Background: Liposomes have been widely used as a model of lipid bilayer to study the physicochemical properties of biological membrane, encapsulation, transport and release of different molecules. Furthermore, extensive research has focused on improving the efficiency in the transport of drugs, developing tools that improve the release of the encapsulated drug from liposomes. In this context, the enzymatic activity of PLA₂, despite having been shown to be an effective tool to promote the release of drugs from liposomes, is still an open field of research. Aim: The aim of the present study is to explore the effect of cholesterol (Cho) and amphipathic di- and tri-block copolymers, on calcein release mediated by enzymatic activity of PLA2 in Dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) liposomes under physiological conditions. Methods: Different dispersions of DPPC, cholesterol, di-block POE₄₅-PCL₅₂ or tri-block PCL₁₂-POE₄₅-PCL₁₂ were prepared by the extrusion method after five freezing/thawing cycles; in Phosphate buffer 10mM pH 7.4 in presence of calcein. DPPC liposomes/Calcein were centrifuged at 15000rpm 10 min to separate free calcein. Enzymatic activity assays of PLA₂ were performed at 37°C using the TBS buffer pH 7.4. The size distribution, polydispersity, Z-potential and Calcein encapsulation of DPPC liposomes was monitored. Results: PLA₂ activity showed a slower kinetic of calcein release up to 20 mol% of cholesterol, evidencing a minimum at 10 mol% and then a maximum at 18 mol%. Regardless of the percentage of cholesterol, up to 18 mol% a one-hundred percentage release of calcein was observed. At higher cholesterol concentrations, PLA₂ showed to be inefficient or not to be involved in calcein release. In assays where copolymers were added in a concentration lower than their cmc, a similar behavior to those showed in the presence of Cho was observed, that is a slower kinetic in calcein release. In both experimental approaches, a one-hundred percentage of calcein release was observed. PLA₂ was shown to be sensitive to the 4-(4-Octadecylphenyl)-4-oxobutenoic acid inhibitor and calcium, reducing the release of calcein to 0%. Cell viability of HeLa cells decreased 7% in the presence of DPPC liposomes after 3 hours of incubation and 17% and 23% at 5 and 15 hours, respectively. Conclusion: Calcein release from DPPC liposomes, mediated by PLA₂ activity, depends on the percentage of cholesterol and the presence of copolymers. Both, cholesterol up to 20 mol% and copolymers below it cmc could be applied to the regulation of the kinetics of antitumoral drugs release without inducing cell toxicity per se.

Keywords: amphipathic copolymers, calcein release, cholesterol, DPPC liposome, phospholipase A₂

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49 Viscoelastic Behaviour of Hyaluronic Acid Copolymers

Authors: Loredana Elena Nita, Maria Bercea, Aurica P. Chiriac, Iordana Neamtu


The paper is devoted to the behavior of gels based on poly(itaconic anhydride-co-3, 9-divinyl-2, 4, 8, 10-tetraoxaspiro (5.5) undecane) copolymers, with different ratio between the comonomers, and hyaluronic acid (HA). The gel formation was investigated by small-amplitude oscillatory shear measurements following the viscoelastic behavior as a function of gel composition, temperature and shear conditions. Hyaluronic acid was investigated in the same conditions and its rheological behavior is typical to viscous fluids. In the case of the copolymers, the ratio between the two comonomers influences the viscoelastic behavior, a higher content of itaconic anhydride favoring the gel formation. Also, the sol-gel transition was evaluated according to Winter-Chambon criterion that identifies the gelation point when the viscoelastic moduli (G’ and G”) behave similarly as a function of oscillation frequency. From rheological measurements, an optimum composition was evidenced for which the system presents a typical gel-like behavior at 37 °C: the elastic modulus is higher than the viscous modulus and they are not dependent on the oscillation frequency. The formation of the 3D macroporous network was also evidenced by FTIR spectra, SEM microscopy and chemical imaging. These hydrogels present a high potential as drug delivery systems.

Keywords: copolymer, viscoelasticity, gelation, 3D network

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48 Liquid Tin(II) Alkoxide Initiators for Use in the Ring-Opening Polymerisation of Cyclic Ester Monomers

Authors: Sujitra Ruengdechawiwat, Robert Molloy, Jintana Siripitayananon, Runglawan Somsunan, Paul D. Topham, Brian J. Tighe


The main aim of this research has been to design and synthesize some completely soluble liquid tin(II) alkoxide initiators for use in the ring-opening polymerisation (ROP) of cyclic ester monomers. This is in contrast to conventional tin(II) alkoxides in solid form which tend to be molecular aggregates and difficult to dissolve. The liquid initiators prepared were bis(tin(II) monooctoate) diethylene glycol ([Sn(Oct)]2DEG) and bis(tin(II) monooctoate) ethylene glycol ([Sn(Oct)]2EG). Their efficiencies as initiators in the bulk ROP of ε-caprolactone (CL) at 130oC were studied kinetically by dilatometry. Kinetic data over the 20-70% conversion range was used to construct both first-order and zero-order rate plots. It was found that the rate data fitted more closely to first-order kinetics with respect to the monomer concentration and gave higher first-order rate constants than the corresponding tin(II) octoate/diol initiating systems normally used to generate the tin(II) alkoxide in situ. Since the ultimate objective of this work is to produce copolymers suitable for biomedical use as absorbable monofilament surgical sutures, poly(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) 75:25 mol %, P(LL-co-CL), copolymers were synthesized using both solid and liquid tin(II) alkoxide initiators at 130°C for 48 hrs. The statistical copolymers were obtained in near-quantitative yields with compositions (from 1H-NMR) close to the initial comonomer feed ratios. The monomer sequencing (from 13C-NMR) was partly random and partly blocky (gradient-type) due to the much differing monomer reactivity ratios (rLL >> rCL). From GPC, the copolymers obtained using the soluble liquid tin(II) alkoxides were found to have higher molecular weights (Mn = 40,000-100,000) than those from the only partially soluble solid initiators (Mn = 30,000-52,000).

Keywords: biodegradable polyesters, poly(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone), ring-opening polymerisation, tin(II) alkoxide

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47 Electrospun Nanofibers from Amphiphlic Block Copolymers and Their Graphene Nanocomposites

Authors: Hussein M. Etmimi, Peter E. Mallon


Electrospinning uses an electrical charge to draw very fine fibers (typically on the micro or nano scale) from a liquid or molten precursor. Over the years, this method has become a widely used and a successful technique to process polymer materials and their composites into nanofibers. The main focus of this work is to study the electrospinning of multi-phase amphiphilic copolymers and their nanocomposites, which contain graphene as the nanofiller material. In such amphiphilic materials, the constituents segments are incompatible and thus the solid state morphology will be determined by the composition of the various constituents as well as the method of preparation. In this study, amphiphilic block copolymers of poly(dimethyl siloxane) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PDMS-b-PMMA) with well-defined structures were synthesized and the solution electrospinning of these materials and their properties were investigated. Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) was used to obtain the controlled block copolymers with relatively high molar masses and narrow dispersity. First, PDMS macroinitiators with different chain length of 1000, 5000 and 10000 g/mol were synthesized by the reaction of monocarbinol terminated PDMS with α-bromoisobutyryl bromide initiator. The obtained macroinitiators were used for the polymerization of methyl methacrylate monomer to obtain the desired block copolymers using the ATRP process. Graphene oxide (GO) of different loading was then added to the copolymer solution and the resultant nanocomposites were successfully electrospun into nanofibers. The electrospinning was achieved using dimethylformamide/chloroform mixture (60:40 vl%) as electrospinning solution medium. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed the successful formation of the electrospun fibers with dimensions in the nanometer range. X-ray diffraction indicated that the GO nanosheets were of an exfoliated structure, irrespective of the filler loading. Thermogravimetric analysis also showed that the thermal stability of the nanofibers was improved in the presence of GO, which was not a function of the filler loading. Differential scanning calorimetry also showed that the mechanical properties (measured as glass transition temperature) of the nanofibers was improved significantly in the presence of GO, which was a function of the filler loading.

Keywords: elctrospinning, graphene oxide, nanofibers, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)

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46 Nanoparticles Modification by Grafting Strategies for the Development of Hybrid Nanocomposites

Authors: Irati Barandiaran, Xabier Velasco-Iza, Galder Kortaberria


Hybrid inorganic/organic nanostructured materials based on block copolymers are of considerable interest in the field of Nanotechnology, taking into account that these nanocomposites combine the properties of polymer matrix and the unique properties of the added nanoparticles. The use of block copolymers as templates offers the opportunity to control the size and the distribution of inorganic nanoparticles. This research is focused on the surface modification of inorganic nanoparticles to reach a good interface between nanoparticles and polymer matrices which hinders the nanoparticle aggregation. The aim of this work is to obtain a good and selective dispersion of Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles into different types of block copolymers such us, poly(styrene-b-methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA), poly(styrene-b-ε-caprolactone) (PS-b-PCL) poly(isoprene-b-methyl methacrylate) (PI-b-PMMA) or poly(styrene-b-butadiene-b-methyl methacrylate) (SBM) by using different grafting strategies. Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles have been surface-modified with polymer or block copolymer brushes following different grafting methods (grafting to, grafting from and grafting through) to achieve a selective location of nanoparticles into desired domains of the block copolymers. Morphology of fabricated hybrid nanocomposites was studied by means of atomic force microscopy (AFM) and with the aim to reach well-ordered nanostructured composites different annealing methods were used. Additionally, nanoparticle amount has been also varied in order to investigate the effect of the nanoparticle content in the morphology of the block copolymer. Nowadays different characterization methods were using in order to investigate magnetic properties of nanometer-scale electronic devices. Particularly, two different techniques have been used with the aim of characterizing synthesized nanocomposites. First, magnetic force microscopy (MFM) was used to investigate qualitatively the magnetic properties taking into account that this technique allows distinguishing magnetic domains on the sample surface. On the other hand, magnetic characterization by vibrating sample magnetometer and superconducting quantum interference device. This technique demonstrated that magnetic properties of nanoparticles have been transferred to the nanocomposites, exhibiting superparamagnetic behavior similar to that of the maghemite nanoparticles at room temperature. Obtained advanced nanostructured materials could found possible applications in the field of dye-sensitized solar cells and electronic nanodevices.

Keywords: atomic force microscopy, block copolymers, grafting techniques, iron oxide nanoparticles

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45 Relationship between Functional Properties and Supramolecular Structure of the Poly(Trimethylene 2,5-Furanoate) Based Multiblock Copolymers with Aliphatic Polyethers or Aliphatic Polyesters

Authors: S. Paszkiewicz, A. Zubkiewicz, A. Szymczyk, D. Pawlikowska, I. Irska, E. Piesowicz, A. Linares, T. A. Ezquerra


Over the last century, the world has become increasingly dependent on oil as its main source of chemicals and energy. Driven largely by the strong economic growth of India and China, demand for oil is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. This growth in demand, combined with diminishing reserves, will require the development of new, sustainable sources for fuels and bulk chemicals. Biomass is an attractive alternative feedstock, as it is widely available carbon source apart from oil and coal. Nowadays, academic and industrial research in the field of polymer materials is strongly oriented towards bio-based alternatives to petroleum-derived plastics with enhanced properties for advanced applications. In this context, 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), a biomass-based chemical product derived from lignocellulose, is one of the most high-potential biobased building blocks for polymers and the first candidate to replace the petro-derived terephthalic acid. FDCA has been identified as one of the top 12 chemicals in the future, which may be used as a platform chemical for the synthesis of biomass-based polyester. The aim of this study is to synthesize and characterize the multiblock copolymers containing rigid segments of poly(trimethylene 2,5-furanoate) (PTF) and soft segments of poly(tetramethylene oxide) (PTMO) with excellent elastic properties or aliphatic polyesters of polycaprolactone (PCL). Two series of PTF based copolymers, i.e., PTF-block-PTMO-T and PTF-block-PCL-T, with different content of flexible segments were synthesized by means of a two-step melt polycondensation process and characterized by various methods. The rigid segments of PTF, as well as the flexible PTMO/or PCL ones, were randomly distributed along the chain. On the basis of 1H NMR, SAXS and WAXS, DSC an DMTA results, one can conclude that both phases were thermodynamically immiscible and the values of phase transition temperatures varied with the composition of the copolymer. The copolymers containing 25, 35 and 45wt.% of flexible segments (PTMO) exhibited elastomeric property characteristics. Moreover, with respect to the flexible segments content, the temperatures corresponding to 5%, 25%, 50% and 90% mass loss as well as the values of tensile modulus decrease with the increasing content of aliphatic polyether or aliphatic polyester in the composition.

Keywords: furan based polymers, multiblock copolymers, supramolecular structure, functional properties

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44 Preparation and Evaluation of Poly(Ethylene Glycol)-B-Poly(Caprolactone) Diblock Copolymers with Zwitterionic End Group for Thermo-Responsive Properties

Authors: Bo Keun Lee, Doo Yeon Kwon, Ji Hoon Park, Gun Hee Lee, Ji Hye Baek, Heung Jae Chun, Young Joo Koh, Moon Suk Kim


Thermo-responsive materials are viscoelastic materials that undergo a sol-to-gel phase transition at a specific temperature and many materials have been developed. MPEG-b-PCL (MPC) as a thermo-responsive material contained hydrophilic and hydrophobic segments and it formed an ordered crystalline structure of hydrophobic PCL segments in aqueous solutions. The ordered crystalline structure packed tightly or aggregated and finally induced an aggregated gel through intra- and inter-molecular interactions as a function of temperature. Thus, we introduced anionic and cationic groups into the end positions of the PCL chain to alter the hydrophobicity of the PCL segment. Introducing anionic and cationic groups into the PCL end position altered their solubility by changing the crystallinity and hydrophobicity of the PCL block domains. These results indicated that the properties of the end group in the hydrophobic PCL blockand the balance between hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity affect thermo-responsivebehavior of the copolymers in aqueous solutions. Thus, we concluded that determinant of the temperature-dependent thermo-responsive behavior of MPC depend on the ionic end group in the PCL block. So, we introduced zwitterionic end groups to investigate the thermo-responsive behavior of MPC. Methoxypoly(ethylene oxide) and ε-caprolactone (CL) were randomly copolymerized that introduced varying hydrophobic PCL lengths and an MPC featuring a zwitterionic sulfobetaine (MPC-ZW) at the chain end of the PCL segment. The MPC and MPC-ZW copolymers were obtained formed sol-state at room temperature when prepared as 20-wt% aqueous solutions. The solubility of MPC decreased when the PCL block was increased from molecular weight. The solubilization time of MPC-2.4k was around 20 min and MPC-2.8k, MPC-3.0k increased to 30 min and 1 h, respectively. MPC-3.6k was not solubilized. In case of MPC-ZW 3.6k, However, the zwitterion-modified MPC copolymers were solubilized in 3–5 min. This result indicates that the zwitterionic end group of the MPC-ZW diblock copolymer increased the aqueous solubility of the diblock copolymer even when the length of the hydrophobic PCL segment was increased. MPC and MPC-ZW diblock copolymers that featuring zwitterionic end groups were synthesized successfully. The sol-to-gel phase-transition was formed that specific temperature depend on the length of the PCL hydrophobic segments introduced and on the zwitterion groups attached to the MPC chain end. This result indicated that the zwitterionic end groups reduced the hydrophobicity in the PCL block and changed the solubilization. The MPC-ZW diblock copolymer can be utilized as a potential injectable drug and cell carrier.

Keywords: thermo-responsive material, zwitterionic, hydrophobic, crystallization, phase transition

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43 Nanoparticles Made from PNIPAM-G-PEO Double Hydrophilic Copolymers for Temperature-Controlled Drug Delivery

Authors: Victoria I. Michailova, Denitsa B. Momekova, Hristiana A. Velichkova, Evgeni H. Ivanov


The aim of this work is to design and develop thermo-responsive nanosized drug delivery systems based on poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-g-poly(ethylene oxide) (PNIPAM-g-PEO) double hydrophilic graft copolymers. The PNIPAM-g-PEO copolymers are able to self-assemble in water into nanoparticles above the LCST of the thermo-responsive PNIPAM backbone and to disassemble and rapidly release the entrapped drugs upon cooling. However, their drug delivery applications are often hindered by their low loading capacity as the drugs to be encapsulated do not dissolve in water. In order to overcome this limitation, here we applied a low-temperature procedure with ethanol as an alternative route to the formation and loading a model hydrophobic drug, Indomethacin (IMC), into PNIPAM-g-PEO nanoparticles. The rationale for this approach was that ethanol dissolves both IMC and the copolymer and its mixing with water may induce micellization of PNIPAM-g-PEO at temperatures lower than the LCST. The influence of the volume fraction of ethanol and the temperature on the aggregation characteristics of PNIPAM-g-PEO copolymers (2.7 mol% PEO) was investigated by means of DLS, TEM and rheological dynamic oscillatory tests. The studies showed rich phase behavior at T < LCST, incl. the formation of highly solvated 500-1000 nm complex structures, 30-70 nm micelles and polymersomes as well as giant polymersomes, as the fraction of added ethanol increased. We believe that the PNIPAM-g-PEO self-assembly is favored due to the different solvation of its constituting blocks in ethanol-water mixtures. The incorporation of IMC led to alteration of the physicochemical and morphological characteristics of the blank nanoparticles. In this case, only monodisperse polymersomes and micelles were observed in the solutions with an average diameter less than 65 nm and substantial drug loading (DLC ~117 – 146 wt%). Indomethacin release from the nanoparticles was responsive to temperature changes, being much faster at a temperature of 42oC compared to that of 37oC under otherwise the same conditions. The results obtained suggest that these PNIPAM-g-PEO nanoparticles could be potential in mild hyper-thermic delivery of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Keywords: drug delivery, nanoparticles, poly(N-isopropylacryl amide)-g-poly(ethylene oxide), thermo-responsive

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42 Micelles Made of Pseudo-Proteins for Solubilization of Hydrophobic Biologicals

Authors: Sophio Kobauri, David Tugushi, Vladimir P. Torchilin, Ramaz Katsarava


Hydrophobic / hydrophilically modified functional polymers are of high interest in modern biomedicine due to their ability to solubilize water-insoluble / poorly soluble (hydrophobic) drugs. Among the many approaches that are being developed in this direction, one of the most effective methods is the use of polymeric micelles (PMs) (micelles formed by amphiphilic block-copolymers) for solubilization of hydrophobic biologicals. For therapeutic purposes, PMs are required to be stable and biodegradable, although quite a few amphiphilic block-copolymers are described capable of forming stable micelles with good solubilization properties. For obtaining micelle-forming block-copolymers, polyethylene glycol (PEG) derivatives are desirable to use as hydrophilic shell because it represents the most popular biocompatible hydrophilic block and various hydrophobic blocks (polymers) can be attached to it. Although the construction of the hydrophobic core, due to the complex requirements and micelles structure development, is the very actual and the main problem for nanobioengineers. Considering the above, our research goal was obtaining biodegradable micelles for the solubilization of hydrophobic drugs and biologicals. For this purpose, we used biodegradable polymers– pseudo-proteins (PPs)(synthesized with naturally occurring amino acids and other non-toxic building blocks, such as fatty diols and dicarboxylic acids) as hydrophobic core since these polymers showed reasonable biodegradation rates and excellent biocompatibility. In the present study, we used the hydrophobic amino acid – L-phenylalanine (MW 4000-8000Da) instead of L-leucine. Amino-PEG (MW 2000Da) was used as hydrophilic fragments for constructing the suitable micelles. The molecular weight of PP (the hydrophobic core of micelle) was regulated by variation of used monomers ratios. Micelles were obtained by dissolving of synthesized amphiphilic polymer in water. The micelle-forming property was tested using dynamic light scattering (Malvern zetasizer NanoZSZEN3600). The study showed that obtaining amphiphilic block-copolymer form stable neutral micelles 100 ± 7 nm in size at 10mg/mL concentration, which is considered as an optimal range for pharmaceutical micelles. The obtained preliminary data allow us to conclude that the obtained micelles are suitable for the delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs and biologicals.

Keywords: amino acid – L-phenylalanine, pseudo-proteins, amphiphilic block-copolymers, biodegradable micelles

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41 Synthesis and Characterization of pH-Responsive Nanocarriers Based on POEOMA-b-PDPA Block Copolymers for RNA Delivery

Authors: Bruno Baptista, Andreia S. R. Oliveira, Patricia V. Mendonca, Jorge F. J. Coelho, Fani Sousa


Drug delivery systems are designed to allow adequate protection and controlled delivery of drugs to specific locations. These systems aim to reduce side effects and control the biodistribution profile of drugs, thus improving therapeutic efficacy. This study involved the synthesis of polymeric nanoparticles, based on amphiphilic diblock copolymers, comprising a biocompatible, poly (oligo (ethylene oxide) methyl ether methacrylate (POEOMA) as hydrophilic segment and a pH-sensitive block, the poly (2-diisopropylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDPA). The objective of this work was the development of polymeric pH-responsive nanoparticles to encapsulate and carry small RNAs as a model to further develop non-coding RNAs delivery systems with therapeutic value. The responsiveness of PDPA to pH allows the electrostatic interaction of these copolymers with nucleic acids at acidic pH, as a result of the protonation of the tertiary amine groups of this polymer at pH values below its pKa (around 6.2). Initially, the molecular weight parameters and chemical structure of the block copolymers were determined by size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy, respectively. Then, the complexation with small RNAs was verified, generating polyplexes with sizes ranging from 300 to 600 nm and with encapsulation efficiencies around 80%, depending on the molecular weight of the polymers, their composition, and concentration used. The effect of pH on the morphology of nanoparticles was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) being verified that at higher pH values, particles tend to lose their spherical shape. Since this work aims to develop systems for the delivery of non-coding RNAs, studies on RNA protection (contact with RNase, FBS, and Trypsin) and cell viability were also carried out. It was found that they induce some protection against constituents of the cellular environment and have no cellular toxicity. In summary, this research work contributes to the development of pH-sensitive polymers, capable of protecting and encapsulating RNA, in a relatively simple and efficient manner, to further be applied on drug delivery to specific sites where pH may have a critical role, as it can occur in several cancer environments.

Keywords: drug delivery systems, pH-responsive polymers, POEOMA-b-PDPA, small RNAs

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40 Poly(Trimethylene Carbonate)/Poly(ε-Caprolactone) Phase-Separated Triblock Copolymers with Advanced Properties

Authors: Nikola Toshikj, Michel Ramonda, Sylvain Catrouillet, Jean-Jacques Robin, Sebastien Blanquer


Biodegradable and biocompatible block copolymers have risen as the golden materials in both medical and environmental applications. Moreover, if their architecture is of controlled manner, higher applications can be foreseen. In the meantime, organocatalytic ROP has been promoted as more rapid and immaculate route, compared to the traditional organometallic catalysis, towards efficient synthesis of block copolymer architectures. Therefore, herein we report novel organocatalytic pathway with guanidine molecules (TBD) for supported synthesis of trimethylene carbonate initiated by poly(caprolactone) as pre-polymer. Pristine PTMC-b-PCL-b-PTMC block copolymer structure, without any residual products and clear desired block proportions, was achieved under 1.5 hours at room temperature and verified by NMR spectroscopies and size-exclusion chromatography. Besides, when elaborating block copolymer films, further stability and amelioration of mechanical properties can be achieved via additional reticulation step of precedently methacrylated block copolymers. Subsequently, stimulated by the insufficient studies on the phase-separation/crystallinity relationship in these semi-crystalline block copolymer systems, their intrinsic thermal and morphology properties were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry and atomic force microscopy. Firstly, by DSC measurements, the block copolymers with χABN values superior to 20 presented two distinct glass transition temperatures, close to the ones of the respecting homopolymers, demonstrating an initial indication of a phase-separated system. In the interim, the existence of the crystalline phase was supported by the presence of melting temperature. As expected, the crystallinity driven phase-separated morphology predominated in the AFM analysis of the block copolymers. Neither crosslinking at melted state, hence creation of a dense polymer network, disturbed the crystallinity phenomena. However, the later revealed as sensible to rapid liquid nitrogen quenching directly from the melted state. Therefore, AFM analysis of liquid nitrogen quenched and crosslinked block copolymer films demonstrated a thermodynamically driven phase-separation clearly predominating over the originally crystalline one. These AFM films remained stable with their morphology unchanged even after 4 months at room temperature. However, as demonstrated by DSC analysis once rising the temperature above the melting temperature of the PCL block, neither the crosslinking nor the liquid nitrogen quenching shattered the semi-crystalline network, while the access to thermodynamical phase-separated structures was possible for temperatures under the poly (caprolactone) melting point. Precisely this coexistence of dual crosslinked/crystalline networks in the same copolymer structure allowed us to establish, for the first time, the shape-memory properties in such materials, as verified by thermomechanical analysis. Moreover, the response temperature to the material original shape depended on the block copolymer emplacement, hence PTMC or PCL as end-block. Therefore, it has been possible to reach a block copolymer with transition temperature around 40°C thus opening potential real-life medical applications. In conclusion, the initial study of phase-separation/crystallinity relationship in PTMC-b-PCL-b-PTMC block copolymers lead to the discovery of novel shape memory materials with superior properties, widely demanded in modern-life applications.

Keywords: biodegradable block copolymers, organocatalytic ROP, self-assembly, shape-memory

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39 Bio-Furan Based Poly (β-Thioether Ester) Synthesized via Thiol-Michael Addition Polymerization with Tunable Structure and Properties

Authors: Daihui Zhang, Marie J. Dumont


A derivative of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) was synthesized for the thiol-Michael addition reaction. The efficiency of the catalysts (base and nucleophiles) and side reactions during the thiol-Michael addition were investigated. Dimethylphenylphosphine efficiently initiated the thiol-Michael addition polymerization for synthesizing a series of bio-based furan polymers with different structure and properties. The benzene rings or hydroxyl groups present in the polymer chains increased the glass transition temperature (Tg) of poly (β-thioether ester). Additionally, copolymers with various compositions were obtained via adding different ratio of 1,6-hexanedithiols to 1,4-benzenedithiols. 1H NMR analysis revealed that experimental ratios of two dithiols monomers matched well with theoretical ratios. The occurrence of a reversible Diels-Alder reaction between furan rings and maleimide groups allowed poly (β-thioether ester) to be dynamically crosslinked. These polymers offer the potentials to produce materials from biomass that have both practical mechanical properties and reprocessing ability.

Keywords: copolymers, Diels-Alder reaction, hydroxymethylfurfural, Thiol-Michael addition

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38 Heterophase Polymerization of Pyrrole and Thienyl End Capped Ethoxylated Nonyl Phenol by Iron (III) Chloride

Authors: Görkem Ülkü, Nesrin Köken, Esin A. Güvel, Nilgün Kızılcan


Ethoxylated nonyl phenols (ENP) and ceric ammonium nitrate redox systems have been used for the polymerization of vinyl and acrylic monomers. In that case, ENP acted as an organic reducing agent in the presence of Ce (IV) salt and a radical was formed. The polymers obtained with that redox system contained ENP chain ends because the radicals are formed on the reducing molecules. Similar copolymer synthesis has been reported using poly(ethylene oxide) instead of its nonyl phenol terminated derivative, ENP. However, copolymers of poly(ethylene oxide) and conducting polymers synthesized by ferric ions were produced in two steps. Firstly, heteroatoms (pyrrole, thiophene etc.) were attached to the poly(ethylene oxide) chains then copolymerization with heterocyclic monomers was carried out. In this work, ethoxylated nonylphenol (ENP) was reacted with 2-thiophenecarbonyl chloride in order to synthesize a macromonomer containing thienyl end-group (ENP-ThC). Then, copolymers of ENP-ThC and pyrrole were synthesized by chemical oxidative polymerization using iron (III) chloride as an oxidant.

Keywords: end capped polymer, ethoxylated nonylphenol, heterophase polymerization, polypyrrole

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37 Self-Assembled Nano Aggregates Based On Polyaspartamide Graft Copolymers for pH-Controlled Release of Doxorubicin

Authors: Van Tran Thi Thuy, Cheol Won Lim, Dukjoon Kim


A series of biodegradable copolymers based on polyaspartamide (PASPAM) were synthesized by grafting hydrophilic O-(2-aminoethyl)-O'-methylpoly(ethylene glycol) (MPEG), hydrophobic cholic acid (CA), and pH-sensitive hydrazine (Hyd) segments on a PASPAM backbone. The hydrazine group was effectively cleaved to release doxorubicin (DOX) conjugated on PASPAM in an acidic environment. The chemical structure of the polymer and the degree of substitution of each graft segment were analyzed using FT-IR and 1H-NMR spectroscopy. The size of the MPEG/Hyd/CA-g-PASPAM copolymer self-aggregates was examined by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). The mean diameter of the self - aggregates increased from 125 to 200 nm at pH 7.4, as the degree of substitution of CA increased from 10 to 20 %. The release kinetics of DOX was strongly affected by the pH of the releasing medium. While less than 30% of the DOX-loaded was released in about 30 h at pH 7.4, more than 60% was released at pH 5.0 within the same time. The viability tests of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and human embryonic kidney cells (293T) show the potential application of MPEG/Hyd/CA-g-PASPAM copolymer self-aggregates in the controlled intracellular delivery for cancer treatments.

Keywords: pH-sensitive, drug delivery, polyaspartamide, self-assembly, nano-aggregates

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36 NR/PEO Block Copolymer: A Chelating Exchanger for Metal Ions

Authors: M. S. Mrudula, M. R. Gopinathan Nair


In order to utilize the natural rubber for developing new green polymeric materials for specialty applications, we have prepared natural rubber and polyethylene oxide based polymeric networks by two shot method. The polymeric networks thus formed have been used as chelating exchanger for metal ion binding. Chelating exchangers are, in general, coordinating copolymers containing one or more electron donor atoms such as N, S, O, and P that can form coordinate bonds with metals. Hydrogels are water- swollen network of hydrophilic homopolymer or copolymers. They acquire a great interest due to the facility of the incorporation of different chelating groups into the polymeric networks. Such polymeric hydrogels are promising materials in the field of hydrometallurgical applications and water purification due to their chemical stability. The current study discusses the swelling response of the polymeric networks as a function of time, temperature, pH and [NaCl] and sorption studies. Equilibrium swelling has been observed to depend on both structural aspects of the polymers and environmental factors. Metal ion sorption shows that these polymeric networks can be used for removal, separation, and enrichment of metal ions from aqueous solutions and can play an important role for environmental remediation of municipal and industrial wastewater.

Keywords: block copolymer, adsorption, chelating exchanger, swelling study, polymer, metal complexes

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35 Poly(propylene fumarate) Copolymers with Phosphonic Acid-based Monomers Designed as Bone Tissue Engineering Scaffolds

Authors: Görkem Cemali̇, Avram Aruh, Gamze Torun Köse, Erde Can ŞAfak


In order to heal bone disorders, the conventional methods which involve the use of autologous and allogenous bone grafts or permanent implants have certain disadvantages such as limited supply, disease transmission, or adverse immune response. A biodegradable material that acts as structural support to the damaged bone area and serves as a scaffold that enhances bone regeneration and guides bone formation is one desirable solution. Poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) which is an unsaturated polyester that can be copolymerized with appropriate vinyl monomers to give biodegradable network structures, is a promising candidate polymer to prepare bone tissue engineering scaffolds. In this study, hydroxyl-terminated PPF was synthesized and thermally cured with vinyl phosphonic acid (VPA) and diethyl vinyl phosphonate (VPES) in the presence of radical initiator benzoyl peroxide (BP), with changing co-monomer weight ratios (10-40wt%). In addition, the synthesized PPF was cured with VPES comonomer at body temperature (37oC) in the presence of BP initiator, N, N-Dimethyl para-toluidine catalyst and varying amounts of Beta-tricalcium phosphate (0-20 wt% ß-TCP) as filler via radical polymerization to prepare composite materials that can be used in injectable forms. Thermomechanical properties, compressive properties, hydrophilicity and biodegradability of the PPF/VPA and PPF/VPES copolymers were determined and analyzed with respect to the copolymer composition. Biocompatibility of the resulting polymers and their composites was determined by the MTS assay and osteoblast activity was explored with von kossa, alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin activity analysis and the effects of VPA and VPES comonomer composition on these properties were investigated. Thermally cured PPF/VPA and PPF/VPES copolymers with different compositions exhibited compressive modulus and strength values in the wide range of 10–836 MPa and 14–119 MPa, respectively. MTS assay studies showed that the majority of the tested compositions were biocompatible and the overall results indicated that PPF/VPA and PPF/VPES network polymers show significant potential for applications as bone tissue engineering scaffolds where varying PPF and co-monomer ratio provides adjustable and controllable properties of the end product. The body temperature cured PPF/VPES/ß-TCP composites exhibited significantly lower compressive modulus and strength values than the thermal cured PPF/VPES copolymers and were therefore found to be useful as scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering applications.

Keywords: biodegradable, bone tissue, copolymer, poly(propylene fumarate), scaffold

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34 Preparation of Magnetothermally Responsive Polymer Multilayer Films for Controlled Release Applications from Surfaces

Authors: Eda Cagli, Irem Erel Goktepe


Externally triggered and effective release of therapeutics from polymer nanoplatforms is one of the key issues in cancer treatment. In this study, we aim to prepare polymer multilayer films which are stable at physiological conditions (little or no drug release) but release drug molecules at acidic pH and via application of AC magnetic field. First, novel stimuli responsive diblock copolymers composed of pH- and temperature-responsive blocks were synthesized. Then, block copolymer micelles with pH-responsive core and temperature responsive coronae will be obtained via pH-induced self-assembly of these block copolymers in aqueous environment. A model anticancer drug, e.g. Doxorubicin will be loaded in the micellar cores. Second, superparamagnetic nanoparticles will be synthesized. Magnetic nanoparticles and drug loaded block copolymer micelles will be used as building blocks to construct the multilayers. To mimic the acidic nature of the tumor tissues, Doxorubicin release from the micellar cores will be induced at acidic conditions. Moreover, Doxorubicin release from the multilayers will be facilitated via magnetothermal trigger. Application of AC magnetic field will induce the heating of magnetic nanoparticles resulting in an increase in the temperature of the polymer platform. This increase in temperature is expected to trigger conformational changes on the temperature-responsive micelle coronae and facilitate the release of Doxorubicin from the surface. Such polymer platform may find use in biomedical applications.

Keywords: layer-by-layer films, magnetothermal trigger, smart polymers, stimuli responsive

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33 Polymeric Micelles Based on Block Copolymer α-Tocopherol Succinate-g-Carboxymethyl Chitosan for Tamoxifen Delivery

Authors: Sunil K. Jena, Sanjaya K. Samal, Mahesh Chand, Abhay T. Sangamwar


Tamoxifen (TMX) and its analogues are approved as a first line therapy for the treatment of estrogen receptor-positive tumors. However, clinical development of TMX has been hampered by its low bioavailability and severe hepatotoxicity. Herein, we attempt to design a new drug delivery vehicle that could enhance the pharmacokinetic performance of TMX. Initially, high-molecular weight carboxymethyl chitosan was hydrolyzed to low-molecular weight carboxymethyl chitosan (LMW CMC) with hydrogen peroxide under the catalysis of phosphotungstic acid. Amphiphilic block copolymers of LMW CMC were synthesized via amidation reaction between the carboxyl group of α-tocopherol succinate (TS) and an amine group of LMW CMC. These amphiphilic block copolymers were self-assembled to nanosize core-shell-structural micelles in the aqueous medium. The critical micelle concentration (CMC) decreased with the increasing substitution of TS on LMW CMC, which ranged from 1.58 × 10-6 to 7.94 × 10-8 g/mL. Maximum TMX loading up to 8.08 ± 0.98% was achieved with Cmc-TS4.5 (TMX/Cmc-TS4.5 with 1:8 weight ratio). Both blank and TMX-loaded polymeric micelles (TMX-PM) of Cmc-TS4.5 exhibits spherical shape with the particle size below 200 nm. TMX-PM has been found to be stable in the gastrointestinal conditions and released only 44.5% of the total drug content by the first 72 h in simulated gastric fluid (SGF), pH 1.2. However, the presence of pepsin does not significantly increased the TMX release in SGF, pH 1.2, released only about 46.2% by the first 72 h suggesting its inability to cleave the peptide bond. In contrast, the release of TMX from TMX-PM4.5 in SIF, pH 6.8 (without pancreatin) was slow and sustained, released only about 10.43% of the total drug content within the first 30 min and nearly about 12.41% by the first 72 h. The presence of pancreatin in SIF, pH 6.8 led to an improvement in drug release. About 28.09% of incorporated TMX was released in the presence of pancreatin in 72 h. A cytotoxicity study demonstrated that TMX-PM exhibited time-delayed cytotoxicity in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Pharmacokinetic studies on Sprague-Dawley rats revealed a remarkable increase in oral bioavailability (1.87-fold) with significant (p < 0.0001) enhancement in AUC0-72 h, t1/2 and MRT of TMX-PM4.5 than that of TMX-suspension. Thus, the results suggested that CMC-TS micelles are a promising carrier for TMX delivery.

Keywords: carboxymethyl chitosan, d-α-tocopherol succinate, pharmacokinetic, polymeric micelles, tamoxifen

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32 Composite Base Natural Fiber

Authors: Noureddine Mahmoudi


The use of natural fibers in the development of composite materials is a sector in full expansion. These fibers were used for their low cost, their availability and their renewable character. The fibers of the palm (palm tree) were used as reinforcement in polypropylene (PP). The date palm fibers have some potential because of their ecological and economic interest. Both unmodified and compatibilized fibers are used. Compatibilization was carried out with the use of maleic anhydride copolymers. The morphology and mechanical properties were characterized by electron microscopy scanning (SEM) and tensile tests. The influence of fiber content on mechanical properties of composite PP / date palm has been evaluated and demonstrated, that the maximum stress and elongation decreases with increasing fiber volume rate. On the other hand, an increase of the tensile modulus has been noticed, but after the fibers improvement, the maximum stress increases significantly up to 25% weight.

Keywords: plant fiber, palm, SEM, compatibilizer

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31 Well-Defined Polypeptides: Synthesis and Selective Attachment of Poly(ethylene glycol) Functionalities

Authors: Cristina Lavilla, Andreas Heise


The synthesis of sequence-controlled polymers has received increasing attention in the last years. Well-defined polyacrylates, polyacrylamides and styrene-maleimide copolymers have been synthesized by sequential or kinetic addition of comonomers. However this approach has not yet been introduced to the synthesis of polypeptides, which are in fact polymers developed by nature in a sequence-controlled way. Polypeptides are natural materials that possess the ability to self-assemble into complex and highly ordered structures. Their folding and properties arise from precisely controlled sequences and compositions in their constituent amino acid monomers. So far, solid-phase peptide synthesis is the only technique that allows preparing short peptide sequences with excellent sequence control, but also requires extensive protection/deprotection steps and it is a difficult technique to scale-up. A new strategy towards sequence control in the synthesis of polypeptides is introduced, based on the sequential addition of α-amino acid-N-carboxyanhydrides (NCAs). The living ring-opening process is conducted to full conversion and no purification or deprotection is needed before addition of a new amino acid. The length of every block is predefined by the NCA:initiator ratio in every step. This method yields polypeptides with a specific sequence and controlled molecular weights. A series of polypeptides with varying block sequences have been synthesized with the aim to identify structure-property relationships. All of them are able to adopt secondary structures similar to natural polypeptides, and display properties in the solid state and in solution that are characteristic of the primary structure. By design the prepared polypeptides allow selective modification of individual block sequences, which has been exploited to introduce functionalities in defined positions along the polypeptide chain. Poly(ethylene glycol)(PEG) was the functionality chosen, as it is known to favor hydrophilicity and also yield thermoresponsive materials. After PEGylation, hydrophilicity of the polypeptides is enhanced, and their thermal response in H2O has been studied. Noteworthy differences in the behavior of the polypeptides having different sequences have been found. Circular dichroism measurements confirmed that the α-helical conformation is stable over the examined temperature range (5-90 °C). It is concluded that PEG units are the main responsible of the changes in H-bonding interactions with H2O upon variation of temperature, and the position of these functional units along the backbone is a factor of utmost importance in the resulting properties of the α-helical polypeptides.

Keywords: α-amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides, multiblock copolymers, poly(ethylene glycol), polypeptides, ring-opening polymerization, sequence control

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30 Predicting the Lifetime of Weathered Polyolefins by Relating Mechanics to Microstructure

Authors: Marta Chiapasco, Alexandra Porter, Finn Giuliani


Designing polymers with a specific microstructure can affect how the polymer degrades once released in the environment. Not only the amount but also the distribution of different phases determines a polymers’ degradability. The following research investigates the use of a combination of spectroscopy analysis and thermal analysis to study changes of polymers’ amorphous and crystalline phases during degradation, comparing different microstructures of polypropylene and polyethylene. The use of nanoindentation helps study how degradation proceeds across a material by looking at changes in phases, while bulk tensile test describes when the material fails. The first results demonstrate that different microstructures have different degrading rates, with homopolymer having a linear and faster degradation compared to copolymers. The goal is to create materials that degrade at faster rates without releasing microplastics into the environment.

Keywords: degradation, microstructure, nanoindentation, Raman spectroscopy

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