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Synthesis of Novel pH-Tunable Thermoresponsive Hydroxyl-Terminated Hyperbranched Polyether

The Key Laboratory of Space Applied Physics and Chemistry, Ministry of Education and Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Science and Technology, School of Science, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710072, China
Department of Pharmceutical analysis of Changzhi Medical College, Changzhi 046000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 895;
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
PDF [2155 KB, uploaded 16 May 2019]


In this study, a new pH-tunable thermoresponsive hydroxyl-terminated hyperbranched polyether (HTHP 2) was successfully prepared via a one-pot cationic polymerization technique and postmodification. In the first step, hydroxyl-terminated hyperbranched polyether containing double bonds (HTHP 1) were synthesized. Then, through thiol-ene “click” reaction, pH-responsive carboxyl groups were introduced to the target polymer of HTHP 2. The products were characterized via Fourier-transform infrared spectra (FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and size-exclusion chromatography-multiangle laser light scattering (SEC-MALLS). Moreover, dynamic light scattering (DLS) and UV–Vis spectroscopy was employed to study the pH- and thermoresponsiveness in detail. Results showed that HTHP 2 possessed typical pH-controllable thermoresponsive behavior. By regulating the solution pH value range 3.0–5.4, LCST of HTHP 2 could be changed from 12.8 to 68.0 °C. Meanwhile, the cell viabilities of A549 cells were more than 80% for in vitro cytotoxicity tests of HTHP 2, suggested that HTHP 2 polymers are of good biocompatibility for up to 24 h. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydroxyl-terminated hyperbranched polyether; cationic polymerization; thiol-ene “click” reaction; widely tunable LCST hydroxyl-terminated hyperbranched polyether; cationic polymerization; thiol-ene “click” reaction; widely tunable LCST

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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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Zhu, X.; Duan, X.; Bai, T.; Zhang, X.; Wang, T.; Cao, T.; Fan, X. Synthesis of Novel pH-Tunable Thermoresponsive Hydroxyl-Terminated Hyperbranched Polyether. Polymers 2019, 11, 895.

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