Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 295, Issue 8, pp 1351–1358 | Cite as

Synthesis and solution properties of a temperature-responsive PNIPAM–b-PDMS–b-PNIPAM triblock copolymer

  • Michael T. CookEmail author
  • Sergey K. FilippovEmail author
  • Vitaliy V. Khutoryanskiy
Invited Article


In this paper, we report the synthesis and self-assembly of a novel thermoresponsive PNIPAM60b-PDMS70b-PNIPAM60 triblock copolymer in aqueous solution. The copolymer used a commercially available precursor modified with an atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) initiator to produce an ABA triblock copolymer via ATRP. Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) was used to shed light on the structures of nanoparticles formed in aqueous solutions of this copolymer at two temperatures, 25 and 40 °C. The poly(dimethylsiloxane) block is very hydrophobic and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) is thermoresponsive. SANS data at 25 °C indicates that the solutions of PNIPAM–b-PDMS–b-PNIPAM copolymers form well-defined aggregates with presumably core–shell structures below cloud point temperature. The scattering curves originating from nanoparticles formed at 40 °C in 100% D2O or 100% H2O were successfully fitted with the Beaucage model describing aggregates with hierarchical structure.


Thermoresponsive PNIPAM SANS Polymerization Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) Self-assembly 



S.F. acknowledges the Czech Science Foundation Grant No. 15-10527J. Institute Laue–Langevin is acknowledged for beam time allocation. This work was also supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of CR within the National Sustainability Program I (Project POLYMAT LO1507). We acknowledge Isabelle Grillo, ILL, France, for help with the data treatment. The work was supported within the program of Large Infrastructures for Research, Experimental Development and Innovation (Project No. LM2015050) and research project LG14037 financed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Czech Republic.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

396_2017_4084_MOESM1_ESM.docx (34 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 34 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy & Research Centre in Topical Drug Delivery and ToxicologyUniversity of HertfordshireHatfieldUK
  2. 2.Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, AS CRPragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.School of PharmacyUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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