Molecule-responsive block copolymer micelles

Chemistry. 2007;13(16):4560-70. doi: 10.1002/chem.200601423.

Abstract

Ring-opening metathesis polymerization was used to generate an ABC triblock copolymer, containing complementary diamidopyridine (DAP) and thymine (THY) outer blocks, which assembles into spherical aggregates held together by DAP-THY noncovalent interactions. Addition of THY-containing small guest molecules results in complete opening and deaggregation of the block copolymer micelle. This molecular recognition and macroscopic response shows high selectivity to the guest structure, and tolerates only a small amount of conformational mobility in the THY guest. On the other hand, addition of a small DAP-containing guest does not break the aggregates, but instead, results in new micelles which show a different selectivity profile from the parent morphology. We have examined the effect of a number of structural features in the block copolymers, on both the extent and selectivity of their macroscopic response to guests (that is, opening of the micelle). This study has resulted in a set of structural guidelines, which help in the design of effective molecule-responsive micelles for applications in selective drug delivery, sensing, and surface patterning.

MeSH terms

  • Micelles*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Particle Size
  • Polymers / chemical synthesis*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Pyridines / chemistry*
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Thymine / chemistry*

Substances

  • Micelles
  • Polymers
  • Pyridines
  • Thymine