Dual redox and thermoresponsive double hydrophilic block copolymers with tunable thermoresponsive properties and self-assembly behavior

Macromol Rapid Commun. 2014 Apr;35(7):752-7. doi: 10.1002/marc.201300852. Epub 2014 Feb 3.


The synthesis, tunable thermoresponsive properties, and self-assembly of dual redox and thermoresponsive double hydrophilic block copolymers having pendant disulfide linkages (DHBCss) are reported. Well-defined DHBCss composed of a hydrophilic poly(ethylene oxide) block and a dual thermo- and reduction-responsive random copolymer block containing pendant disulfide linkages are synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization. Their lower critical solution temperature (LCST) transitions are adjusted through modulating pendant hydrophobic-hydrophilic balance with disulfide-thiol-sulfide chemistry. Further, these DHBCss derivatives are converted to disulfide-crosslinked nanogels at temperatures above LCST through temperature-driven self-assembly and in situ disulfide crosslinking. They exhibit enhanced colloidal stability and further reduction-responsive degradability, thus demonstrating versatility of dual thermo- and reduction-responsive smart materials.

Keywords: LCST; atom transfer radical polymerization; double hydro­philic block copolymer; self-assembly; thiol-disulfide degradation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Particle Size
  • Polymers / chemical synthesis*
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Surface Properties
  • Temperature*


  • Polymers