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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(4), 195;

Synthesis, Self-Assembly, and Drug-Release Properties of New Amphipathic Liquid Crystal Polycarbonates

Center for Molecular Science and Engineering, College of Science, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China
Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, Liaoning Research Institute of Family Planning, Shenyang 110031, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 January 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 25 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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New amphiphilic liquid crystal (LC) polycarbonate block copolymers containing side-chain cholesteryl units were synthesized. Their structure, thermal stability, and LC phase behavior were characterized with Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrum, 1H NMR, gel permeation chromatographic (GPC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), polarizing optical microscope (POM), and XRD methods. The results demonstrated that the LC copolymers showed a double molecular arrangement of a smectic A phase at room temperature. With the elevating of LC unit content in such LC copolymers, the corresponding properties including decomposition temperature (Td), glass temperature (Tg), and isotropic temperature (Ti) increased. The LC copolymers showed pH-responsive self-assembly behavior under the weakly acidic condition, and with more side-chain LC units, the self-assembly process was faster, and the formed particle size was smaller. It indicated that the self-assembly driving force was derived from the orientational ability of LC. The particle size and morphologies of self-assembled microspheres loaded with doxorubicin (DOX), together with drug release tracking, were evaluated by dynamic light scattering (DLS), SEM, and UV–vis spectroscopy. The results showed that DOX could be quickly released in a weakly acidic environment due to the pH response of the self-assembled microspheres. This would offer a new strategy for drug delivery in clinic applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: amphipathic polycarbonates; cholesteryl; liquid crystal; self-assembly; drug release amphipathic polycarbonates; cholesteryl; liquid crystal; self-assembly; drug release

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Xie, Y.; Liu, X.; Hu, Z.; Hou, Z.; Guo, Z.; Chen, Z.; Hu, J.; Yang, L. Synthesis, Self-Assembly, and Drug-Release Properties of New Amphipathic Liquid Crystal Polycarbonates. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 195.

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