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Polymers 2015, 7(5), 921-938; doi:10.3390/polym7050921

Synthesis of β-cyclodextrin-Based Star Block Copolymers with Thermo-Responsive Behavior

1
Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry, Chemistry Department, University of Paderborn, 33098 Paderborn, Germany
2
Institute of Physical Chemistry, University of Münster, Corrensstr. 30, D-48149 Münster, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alexander Böker
Received: 18 March 2015 / Revised: 23 April 2015 / Accepted: 27 April 2015 / Published: 6 May 2015
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Abstract

Star polymers are one example of three-dimensional macromolecules containing several arms with similar molecular weight connected to a central core. Due to their compact structure and their enhanced segment density in comparison to linear polymers of the same molecular weight, they have attracted significant attention during recent years. The preparation of block-arm star copolymers with a permanently hydrophilic block and an “environmentally” sensitive block, which can change its nature from hydrophilic to hydrophobic, leads to nanometer-sized responsive materials with unique properties. These polymers are able to undergo a conformational change or phase transition as a reply to an external stimulus resulting in the formation of core–shell nanoparticles, which further tend to aggregate. Star-shaped copolymers with different cores were synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The core-first method chosen as synthetic strategy allows good control over the polymer architecture. First of all the multifunctional initiators were prepared by esterification reaction of the hydroxyl groups with 2-chloropropionyl chloride. Using β-cyclodextrin as core molecules, which possess a well-defined number of functional groups up to 21, allows defining the number of arms per star polymer. In order to prepare stimuli-responsive multi-arm copolymers, containing a stimuli-responsive (poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm)) and a non-responsive block (poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide) (PDMAAm)), consecutive ATRP was carried out. The polymers were characterized intensively using NMR spectroscopy and size exclusion chromatography (SEC), whereas the temperature-depending aggregation behavior in aqueous solution was determined via turbidimetry and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). View Full-Text
Keywords: ATRP; star block copolymers; β-cyclodextrin; NIPAAm; DMAAm ATRP; star block copolymers; β-cyclodextrin; NIPAAm; DMAAm
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wycisk, A.; Döring, A.; Schneider, M.; Schönhoff, M.; Kuckling, D. Synthesis of β-cyclodextrin-Based Star Block Copolymers with Thermo-Responsive Behavior. Polymers 2015, 7, 921-938.

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