Stimuli-responsive polymersomes of poly [2-(dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate]-b-polystyrene

Abstract

Amphiphilic diblock copolymers may assemble in aqueous solutions to form vesicles delimited by a polymeric double layer, also known as polymersomes, considered a more robust option to liposomes. Diblock copolymers may respond to pH, temperature, and other conditions. Because of such properties, polymersomes are currently being studied as drug delivery systems or as nanoreactors. pH-responsive polymersomes are potentially crucial because unusual pH gradients are present in cells under several physiological and pathological conditions. We synthesized two diblock copolymers of poly [2-(dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate]-block-polystyrene (PDMAEMA-b-PS) via RAFT. We both developed new materials and better-understood polymersomes' properties with pH and temperature-responsive groups with these polymers. GPC, 1H-NMR, and FTIR characterized copolymers. The ionization equilibrium of the PDMAEMA amino groups on the polymersomes was analyzed by potentiometric titration and Zeta potential measurements. The hydrodynamic radius of the polymersomes in different pH and temperatures was analyzed by DLS. Entrapment of an electron paramagnetic resonance probe indicated the presence of a hydrophilic inner core. Negative staining transmission electron microscopy showed spherical aggregates and confirmed the diameter around 80 nm. These polymersomes with dual stimulus–response (i.e., pH and temperature) may be a platform for gene delivery and nanoreactors.

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Acknowledgements

IMC, HC and FHF thanks to FAPESP (Proc. 2013/08166-5). IMC thanks the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq – 465259/2014-6). IMC and HC thank the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), the National Institute of Science and Technology Complex Fluids (INCT-FCx) and NAP-FCx (Núcleo de Apoio à Pesquisa de Fluidos Complexos da Universidade de São Paulo). G.P.B.Carretero thanks the Programa CAPES: INCT -Institutos Nacionais de Ciência e Tecnologia (Proc. 88887.137085/2017-00) and FAPESP (2018/15230-5). FHF thanks CNPq (Universal 457733/2014-4), and GKVS acknowledges the Projeto Biocomputacional/CAPES (proc. no. 23038.004630/2014-35) and CNPq (proc. 457733/2014-4).

Funding

Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo—FAPESP (Grants 2013/08166–5 and 2018/15230–5). National Council for Scientific and Technological Development. CNPq (Grants 465259/2014–6 and 457733/2014–4). Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES). The National Institute of Science and Technology Complex Fluids (INCT-FCx) and NAP-FCx (Núcleo de Apoio à Pesquisa de Fluidos Complexos da Universidade de São Paulo). CAPES: INCT -Institutos Nacionais de Ciência e Tecnologia (Proc. 88887.137085/2017–00). Projeto Biocomputacional/CAPES (proc. no. 23038.004630/2014–35).

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de Souza, V.V., Carretero, G.P.B., Vitale, P.A.M. et al. Stimuli-responsive polymersomes of poly [2-(dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate]-b-polystyrene. Polym. Bull. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00289-020-03533-5

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Keywords

  • Polymersome
  • RAFT
  • PDMAEMA-b-polystyrene
  • LCST