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Polymers 2017, 9(10), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9100540

Arborescent Unimolecular Micelles: Poly(γ-Benzyl l-Glutamate) Core Grafted with a Hydrophilic Shell by Copper(I)-Catalyzed Azide–Alkyne Cycloaddition Coupling

Department of Chemistry, Institute for Polymer Research and Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
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Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Amphiphilic to Polyphilic Polymers)
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Abstract

Amphiphilic copolymers were obtained by grafting azide-terminated polyglycidol, poly(ethylene oxide), or poly(2-hydroxyethyl acrylate) chain segments onto alkyne-functionalized arborescent poly(γ-benzyl l-glutamate) (PBG) cores of generations G1–G3 via copper(I)-catalyzed azide–alkyne Huisgen cycloaddition (CuAAC) coupling. The alkyne functional groups on the arborescent PBG substrates were either distributed randomly or located exclusively at the end of the chains added in the last grafting cycle of the core synthesis. The location of these coupling sites influenced the ability of the arborescent copolymers to form unimolecular micelles in aqueous environments: The chain end grafting approach provided enhanced dispersibility in aqueous media and favored the formation of unimolecular micelles in comparison to random grafting. This is attributed to a better defined core-shell morphology for the copolymers with end-grafted shell segments. Aqueous solubility also depended on the type of material used for the shell chains. Coupling by CuAAC opens up possibilities for grafting a broad range of polymers on the arborescent substrates under mild conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: dendritic graft polymers; CuAAC coupling; unimolecular micelles; amphiphilic copolymers dendritic graft polymers; CuAAC coupling; unimolecular micelles; amphiphilic copolymers
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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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Gauthier, M.; Whitton, G. Arborescent Unimolecular Micelles: Poly(γ-Benzyl l-Glutamate) Core Grafted with a Hydrophilic Shell by Copper(I)-Catalyzed Azide–Alkyne Cycloaddition Coupling. Polymers 2017, 9, 540.

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