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Polymers 2017, 9(6), 238; doi:10.3390/polym9060238

A Near-Infrared Light-Responsive Hybrid Hydrogel Based on UCST Triblock Copolymer and Gold Nanorods

1
Département de Chimie, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada
2
School of Material Science & Engineering, Beifang University of Nationalities, Yinchuan 750021, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yanlei Yu and John T. Sheridan
Received: 16 May 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 17 June 2017 / Published: 20 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photo-Responsive Polymers)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1683 KB, uploaded 20 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

We report a near-infrared (NIR) light-responsive hydrogel that is capable of undergoing the gel to sol transition upon 785 nm light exposure based on a photothermal effect. The new hydrogel design relies on loading gold nanorods (AuNRs) in an ABA-type triblock copolymer, namely P(AAm–co–AN)–b–PDMA–b–P(AAm–co–AN), where P(AAm–co–AN) stands for a random copolymer of acrylamide and acrylonitrile that exhibits an upper critical solution temperature (UCST) in aqueous solution and PDMA is water-soluble polydimethylacrylamide. At solution temperature below UCST, the insoluble P(AAm–co–AN) blocks lead to formation of hydrogel of flower-like micelles. When the hydrogel is exposed to 785 nm NIR light, the absorption due to the longitudinal surface plasmon resonance of loaded AuNRs generates heat that raises the hydrogel temperature above UCST and, consequently, the gel-to-sol transition. The NIR light-triggered release of a protein loaded in the hydrogel was found to display a switchable fashion. View Full-Text
Keywords: near-infrared light-sensitive polymer; block copolymer hydrogel; thermosensitive polymer; upper critical solution temperature; photothermal effect near-infrared light-sensitive polymer; block copolymer hydrogel; thermosensitive polymer; upper critical solution temperature; photothermal effect
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Zhang, H.; Guo, S.; Fu, S.; Zhao, Y. A Near-Infrared Light-Responsive Hybrid Hydrogel Based on UCST Triblock Copolymer and Gold Nanorods. Polymers 2017, 9, 238.

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