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Tunable Thermo-Responsive Copolymers from DEGMA and OEGMA Synthesized by RAFT Polymerization and the Effect of the Concentration and Saline Phosphate Buffer on its Phase Transition

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Cátedras CONACyT-Centro de Graduados e Investigación en Química, Tecnológico Nacional de México/Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana, Blvd. Alberto Limón Padilla S/N, Ciudad Industrial Mesa de Otay, Tijuana 22500, Baja California, México
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Centro de Graduados e Investigación en Química, Tecnológico Nacional de México/Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana, Blvd. Alberto Limón Padilla S/N, Ciudad Industrial Mesa de Otay, Tijuana 22500, Baja California, México
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101657
Received: 28 August 2019 / Revised: 20 September 2019 / Accepted: 20 September 2019 / Published: 11 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functionally Responsive Polymeric Materials II)
Thermo-responsive polymers and copolymers derivatives of oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (Mn = 300 g mol−1) (OEGMA) and di(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (DEGMA) have been synthesized by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) using 5-amino-4-methyl-4-(propylthiocarbonothioylthio)-5-oxopentanoic acid (APP) as chain transfer agent (CTA). The monomer conversion was evaluated by hydrogen nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR); number average molecular weights (Mn), weight average molecular weight (Mw), and dispersity (Đ) were obtained by gel permeation chromatography (GPC); glass transition temperature (Tg) was evaluated by modulated differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), cloud point temperature (Tcp) was measured and compared by turbidimetry and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The effect of polymer composition and concentration on the Tcp, either in water or in phosphate buffer saline (PBS), was studied. The values of Tcp using PBS were between 3 and 4 °C lower than using water. Results showed an ideal copolymerization behavior; therefore, the Tcp could be tuned by an adequate monomers feed ratio obtaining polymers which may be used in drug delivery and other applications.
Keywords: thermo-responsive polymers; RAFT; OEGMA; chain transfer agent; smart polymers; trithiocarbonate thermo-responsive polymers; RAFT; OEGMA; chain transfer agent; smart polymers; trithiocarbonate
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Ramírez-Jiménez, A.; Montoya-Villegas, K.A.; Licea-Claverie, A.; Gónzalez-Ayón, M.A. Tunable Thermo-Responsive Copolymers from DEGMA and OEGMA Synthesized by RAFT Polymerization and the Effect of the Concentration and Saline Phosphate Buffer on its Phase Transition. Polymers 2019, 11, 1657.

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