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Internal nanoparticle structure of temperature-responsive self-assembled PNIPAM-b-PEG-b-PNIPAM triblock copolymers in aqueous solutions: NMR, SANS and light scattering studies

Filippov, S. K., Bogomolova, A., Kaberov, L., Velychkivska, N., Starovoytova, L., Cernochova, Z., Rogers, S. E., Lau, W. M., Khutoryanskiy, V. V. and Cook, M. T. (2016) Internal nanoparticle structure of temperature-responsive self-assembled PNIPAM-b-PEG-b-PNIPAM triblock copolymers in aqueous solutions: NMR, SANS and light scattering studies. Langmuir, 32 (21). pp. 5314-5323. ISSN 1520-5827

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b00284

Abstract/Summary

In this study we report detailed information on the internal structure of PNIPAM-b-PEG-b-PNIPAM nanoparticles formed from self-assembly in aqueous solutions upon increase in temperature. NMR spectroscopy, light scattering and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) were used to monitor different stages of nanoparticle formation as a function of temperature, providing insight into the fundamental processes involved. The presence of PEG in a copolymer structure significantly affects the formation of nanoparticles, making their transition to occur over a broader temperature range. The crucial parameter that controls the transition is the ratio of PEG/PNIPAM. For pure PNIPAM, the transition is sharp; the higher the PEG/PNIPAM ratio results in a broader transition. This behavior is explained by different mechanisms of PNIPAM block incorporation during nanoparticle formation at different PEG/PNIPAM ratios. Contrast variation experiments using SANS show that the structure of nanoparticles above cloud point temperatures for PNIPAM-b-PEG-b-PNIPAM copolymers is drastically different from the structure of PNIPAM mesoglobules. In contrast with pure PNIPAM mesoglobules, where solid-like particles and chain network with a mesh size of 1-3 nm are present; nanoparticles formed from PNIPAM-b-PEG-b-PNIPAM copolymers have non-uniform structure with “frozen” areas interconnected by single chains in Gaussian conformation. SANS data with deuterated “invisible” PEG blocks imply that PEG is uniformly distributed inside of a nanoparticle. It is kinetically flexible PEG blocks which affect the nanoparticle formation by prevention of PNIPAM microphase separation.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF) > NMR (CAF)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Pharmaceutics Research Group
ID Code:65646
Publisher:American Chemical Society

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