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Polymers 2018, 10(3), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030293

Multi-Responsive Behaviors of Copolymers Bearing N-Isopropylacrylamide with or without Phenylboronic Acid in Aqueous Solution

1
School of Environmental and Biological Engineering, Liaoning Shihua University, Fushun 113001, China
2
College of Engineering, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Polymers)
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Abstract

Continuing efforts to develop novel smart materials are anticipated to upgrade the quality of life of humans. Thermo-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) and glucose-responsive phenylboronic acid—typical representatives—are often integrated as multi-stimuli-sensitive materials, but few are available for side-by-side comparisons with their properties. In this study, both copolymers bearing N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm), with or without 3-acrylamidophenylboronic acid (AAPBA), were synthesized by free radical polymerization, and characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance hydrogen spectroscopy and gel permeation chromatography. Dynamic light scattering was used to analyze and compare the responsive behaviors of the copolymers in different aqueous solutions. Atomic force microscopy was also employed to investigate the apparent morphology changes with particle sizes. The results demonstrated that the introduction of NIPAAm endowed the composite materials with thermosensitivity, whereas the addition of AAPBA lowered the molecular weight of the copolymers, intensified the intermolecular aggregation of the nanoparticles, reduced the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the composites, and accordingly allowed the copolymers to respond to glucose. It was also concluded that the responding of smart copolymers to operating parameters can be activated only under special conditions, and copolymer dimension and conformation were affected by inter/intramolecular interactions. View Full-Text
Keywords: poly(N-isopropylacrylamide); phenylboronic acid; smart responsive behavior; hydrodynamic diameter; dynamic light scattering poly(N-isopropylacrylamide); phenylboronic acid; smart responsive behavior; hydrodynamic diameter; dynamic light scattering
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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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Li, J.; Yang, L.; Fan, X.; Wang, F.; Zhang, J.; Wang, Z. Multi-Responsive Behaviors of Copolymers Bearing N-Isopropylacrylamide with or without Phenylboronic Acid in Aqueous Solution. Polymers 2018, 10, 293.

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