Iranian Polymer Journal

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 39–49 | Cite as

Self-assembly and drug release control of dual-responsive copolymers based on oligo(ethylene glycol)methyl ether methacrylate and spiropyran

  • Zhouxiaoshuang Yang
  • Hu Zou
  • Hui LiuEmail author
  • Wenshuang Xu
  • Lulu Zhang
Original Research


To compare the synthesis and drug release of random and block copolymers, random and block copolymerizations of oligo(ethylene glycol)methyl ether methacrylate (OEGMA) and 1′-(2-methacryloxyethyl)-3′,3′-dimethyl-6-nitrospiro-(2H-1-benzopyran-2,2′-indoline) (SPMA) were carried out by atom transfer radical polymerization. The 1H NMR and GPC results indicated the targeted random and block copolymers were successfully synthesized. Critical micelle concentrations of random and block copolymers were determined as 0.0178 mg/mL and 0.0265 mg/mL, and the micelle aggregation numbers of the random and block copolymers were calculated as approximately 17 and 13, respectively, indicating that more molecular chains were required to form a stable polymeric micelle for a random than its block copolymer. A lower critical solution temperature of 37 °C, the human body temperature, was obtained for two copolymer samples, suggesting that they might have potential application in the biomedical field. During the self-assembly, the morphology of block copolymer micelles was more regular than that of random copolymer, and both copolymers exhibited the exchange of hydrophilic and hydrophobic segments called as “Schizophrenic” behavior under UV light irradiation at 50 °C. With doxorubicin as a model molecule in drug release control, heating and ultraviolet light irradiation could accelerate the drug release process to some extent, indicating the potential application of the resulting random and block copolymers in drug release and bioengineering.


Amphiphilic copolymer Stimuli-responsive Self-assembly Drug release control Doxorubicin 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 21376271), the Hunan Provincial Science and Technology Plan Project, China (no. 2016TP1007), and the Undergraduates Innovative Training Foundation of Central South University (201810533294, 201810533078).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict interest.

Supplementary material

13726_2018_677_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.1 mb)
Supporting Information Supporting information included LCSTs of P(MEO2MA-co-MEO3MA) at different feed molar ratios in Table S1, 1H NMR spectra of random and block copolymers in Figs. S1–S5, CMC determination of random copolymer in Fig. S6 and of block copolymer in Fig. S7, determination of aggregation numbers for random and block copolymeric micelles in Fig. S8, and the standard curve of DOX between absorbance and concentration in Fig. S9. (PDF 1076 KB)


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Copyright information

© Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Efficient and Clean Utilization of Manganese ResourcesCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China

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