Special Issue "Stimuli Responsive Polymers"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Charles-André Fustin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences (IMCN), Division of Bio and Soft Matter (BSMA), Université catholique de Louvain, Place L. Pasteur 1, bte L4.01.01, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Interests: macro- and supramolecular chemistry; stimuli responsive polymers; self-assembly; polymer gels and networks, interlocked architectures; molecular machines
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Stimuli-responsive, or “smart”, polymeric systems have drawn increasing interest over the last years due to their considerable potential for widely varied applications. (Co)polymers have been developed that respond to a very broad range of external stimuli, such as pH, temperature, light, redox, salt, CO2, electric or magnetic fields, mechanical stimulation, etc. The recent progress in controlled polymerization techniques have greatly facilitated the synthesis of well-defined polymers with tailored functionality. Among those, polymers bearing different types of responsive groups, the so-called multi-responsive polymers, have been developed. These systems exhibit complex responsive behaviors and are particularly promising.

This Special Issue of Polymers entitled “Stimuli-Responsive Polymers” will cover a broad range of research activities, such as synthesis, physico-chemical properties, and applications, as well as a broad range of polymeric systems such as solutions, films, brushes, self-assembling systems, gels, supramolecular polymers, etc. In addition, review papers featuring progresses in a particular area are welcomed. This Special Issue aims at collecting recent findings and comprehensive reviews from experts in this very active field of research, and will be hopefully a useful source of information for researchers.

Prof. Charles-André Fustin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Thermo-responsive
  • Light-responsive
  • Mechano-responive
  • Redox-responsive
  • pH-responsive
  • Field-responsive
  • Synthesis
  • Physical properties
  • Solution
  • Gel and network
  • Film
  • Self-assembly
  • Brush
  • Supramolecular polymers

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Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Coarse-Grained Simulations of Aqueous Thermoresponsive Polyethers
Polymers 2018, 10(5), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10050475 - 27 Apr 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Thermoresponsive polymers can change structure or solubility as a function of temperature. Block co-polymers of polyethers have a response that depends on polymer molecular weight and co-polymer composition. A coarse-grained model for aqueous polyethers is developed and applied to polyethylene oxide and polyethylene [...] Read more.
Thermoresponsive polymers can change structure or solubility as a function of temperature. Block co-polymers of polyethers have a response that depends on polymer molecular weight and co-polymer composition. A coarse-grained model for aqueous polyethers is developed and applied to polyethylene oxide and polyethylene oxide-polypropylene oxide-polyethylene oxide triblock co-polymers. In this model, no interaction sites on hydrogen atoms are included, no Coulombic interactions are present, and all interactions are short-ranged, treated with a combination of two- and three-body terms. Our simulations find that The triblock co-polymers tend to associate at temperatures above 350 K. The aggregation is stabilized by contact between The hydrophobic methyl groups on The propylene oxide monomers and involves a large, favorable change in entropy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Chain Molecular Weight and Hofmeister Series Ions in Thermal Aggregation of Poly(2-Isopropyl-2-Oxazoline) Grafted Nanoparticles
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10040451 - 17 Apr 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Thermoresponsive nanoparticles are promising smart materials for many applications. However, a rational design for applications requires a deeper understanding and experimental verification of the various parameters that influence the thermoresponsiveness of the spherical polymer brushes that define most of such nanomaterials. Therefore, we [...] Read more.
Thermoresponsive nanoparticles are promising smart materials for many applications. However, a rational design for applications requires a deeper understanding and experimental verification of the various parameters that influence the thermoresponsiveness of the spherical polymer brushes that define most of such nanomaterials. Therefore, we investigate superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) grafted with poly(2-isopropyl-2-oxazoline) (6–33 kg mol−1) by temperature-cycled dynamic light scattering and differential scanning calorimetry. The grafting of dense spherical polymer brushes leads to lower aggregation temperatures and transition enthalpies when compared with the free polymer. The transition enthalpy and temperature depend on the polymer shell size and structure. The addition of kosmotropic salts decreases the aggregation temperature following the Hofmeister series. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Poly(ethylene glycol)-Polyzwitterion Diblock Copolymers as Biocompatible Smart Macrosurfactants Featuring UCST-Phase Behavior in Normal Saline Solution
Polymers 2018, 10(3), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030325 - 15 Mar 2018
Cited by 12
Abstract
Nonionic-zwitterionic diblock copolymers are designed to feature a coil-to-globule collapse transition with an upper critical solution temperature (UCST) in aqueous media, including physiological saline solution. The block copolymers that combine presumably highly biocompatible blocks are synthesized by chain extension of a poly(ethylene glycol) [...] Read more.
Nonionic-zwitterionic diblock copolymers are designed to feature a coil-to-globule collapse transition with an upper critical solution temperature (UCST) in aqueous media, including physiological saline solution. The block copolymers that combine presumably highly biocompatible blocks are synthesized by chain extension of a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) macroinitiator via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) of sulfobetaine and sulfabetaine methacrylates. Their thermoresponsive behavior is studied by variable temperature turbidimetry and 1H NMR spectroscopy. While the polymers with polysulfobetaine blocks exhibit phase transitions in the physiologically interesting window of 30–50 °C only in pure aqueous solution, the polymers bearing polysulfabetaine blocks enabled phase transitions only in physiological saline solution. By copolymerizing a pair of structurally closely related sulfo- and sulfabetaine monomers, thermoresponsive behavior can be implemented in aqueous solutions of both low and high salinity. Surprisingly, the presence of the PEG blocks can affect the UCST-transitions of the polyzwitterions notably. In specific cases, this results in “schizophrenic” thermoresponsive behavior displaying simultaneously an UCST and an LCST (lower critical solution temperature) transition. Exploratory experiments on the UCST-transition triggered the encapsulation and release of various solvatochromic fluorescent dyes as model “cargos” failed, apparently due to the poor affinity even of charged organic compounds to the collapsed state of the polyzwitterions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Ultrasound- and Thermo-Responsive Ionic Liquid Polymers
Polymers 2018, 10(3), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030301 - 11 Mar 2018
Abstract
Poly(sodium 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonate) (PAMPSNa) was prepared via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) radical polymerization. An ionic liquid polymer (PAMPSP4448) was then prepared by exchanging the pendant counter cation from sodium (Na+) to tributyl-n-octylphosphonium (P4448+). We [...] Read more.
Poly(sodium 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonate) (PAMPSNa) was prepared via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) radical polymerization. An ionic liquid polymer (PAMPSP4448) was then prepared by exchanging the pendant counter cation from sodium (Na+) to tributyl-n-octylphosphonium (P4448+). We studied the ultrasound- and thermo-responsive behaviors of PAMPSP4448 in water. When the aqueous PAMPSP4448 solution was heated from 5 to 50 °C, the solution was always transparent with 100% transmittance. Unimers and interpolymer aggregates coexisted in water in the temperature range 5–50 °C. Generally, hydrogen bonding interactions are broken as the temperature increases due to increased molecular motion. Above 25 °C, the size of the interpolymer aggregates decreased, because hydrophobic interactions inside them were strengthened by dehydration accompanying cleavage of hydrogen bonds between water molecules and the pendant amide or sulfonate groups in PAMPSP4448. Above 25 °C, sonication of the aqueous solution induced an increase in the collision frequency of the aggregates. This promoted hydrophobic interactions between the aggregates to form larger aggregates, and the aqueous solution became turbid. When the temperature was decreased below 8 °C, hydrogen bonds reformed between water molecules and the pendant amide or sulfonate groups, allowing PAMPSP4448 to redissolve in water to form a transparent solution. The solution could be repeatedly controlled between turbidity and transparency by sonication and cooling, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Amphiphilic, Biodegradable, Biocompatible, Thermo-Responsive ABA Triblock Copolymers Based on PCL and PEG Analogues via a Combination of ROP and RAFT: Synthesis, Characterization, and Sustained Drug Release from Self-Assembled Micelles
Polymers 2018, 10(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10020214 - 22 Feb 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Well-defined novel, linear, biodegradable, amphiphilic thermo-responsive ABA-type triblock copolymers, poly[2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethyl methacrylate-co-oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate]-b-poly(ε-caprolactone)-b-poly[2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethyl methacrylate-co-oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate] [P(MEO2MA-co-OEGMA)-b-PCL-b-P(MEO2MA-co-OEGMA)] (tBPs), were [...] Read more.
Well-defined novel, linear, biodegradable, amphiphilic thermo-responsive ABA-type triblock copolymers, poly[2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethyl methacrylate-co-oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate]-b-poly(ε-caprolactone)-b-poly[2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethyl methacrylate-co-oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate] [P(MEO2MA-co-OEGMA)-b-PCL-b-P(MEO2MA-co-OEGMA)] (tBPs), were synthesized via a combination of ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of ε-caprolactone (εCL) and reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) of MEO2MA and OEGMA comonomers. The chemical structures and compositions of these copolymers were characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR). The molecular weights of the copolymers were obtained using gel permeation chromatography (GPC) measurements. Thermo-responsive micelles were obtained by self-assembly of copolymers in aqueous medium. The temperature sensitivity and micelllization behavior of amphiphilic triblock copolymers solutions were studied by transmittance, fluorescence probe, surface tension, dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A hydrophobic drug, anethole, was encapsulated in micelles by using the dialysis method. The average particle sizes of drug-loaded micelles were determined by dynamic light scattering measurement. In vitro, the sustained release of the anethole was performed in pH 7.4 phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at different temperatures. Results showed that the triblock copolymer’s micelles were quite effective in the encapsulation and controlled release of anethole. The vial inversion test demonstrated that the triblock copolymers could trigger the sol-gel transition which also depended on the temperature, and its sol-gel transition temperature gradually decreased with increasing concentration. The hydrogel system could also be used as a carrier of hydrophobic drugs in medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Surface-Engineered Nanocontainers Based on Molecular Self-Assembly and Their Release of Methenamine
Polymers 2018, 10(2), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10020163 - 08 Feb 2018
Abstract
The mixing of polymers and nanoparticles is opening pathways for engineering flexible composites that exhibit advantageous functional properties. To fabricate controllable assembling nanocomposites for efficiently encapsulating methenamine and releasing them on demand, we functionalized the surface of natural halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) selectively with [...] Read more.
The mixing of polymers and nanoparticles is opening pathways for engineering flexible composites that exhibit advantageous functional properties. To fabricate controllable assembling nanocomposites for efficiently encapsulating methenamine and releasing them on demand, we functionalized the surface of natural halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) selectively with polymerizable gemini surfactant which has peculiar aggregation behavior, aiming at endowing the nanomaterials with self-assembly and stimulative responsiveness characteristics. The micromorphology, grafted components and functional groups were identified using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The created nanocomposites presented various characteristics of methenamine release with differences in the surface composition. It is particularly worth mentioning that the controlled release was more efficient with the increase of geminized monomer proportion, which is reasonably attributed to the fact that the amphiphilic geminized moieties with positive charge and obvious hydrophobic interactions interact with the outer and inner surface in different ways through fabricating polymeric shell as release stoppers at nanotube ends and forming polymer brush into the nanotube lumen for guest immobilization. Meanwhile, the nanocomposites present temperature and salinity responsive characteristics for the release of methenamine. The combination of HNTs with conjugated functional polymers will open pathways for engineering flexible composites which are promising for application in controlled release fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Temperature-Responsive Polymer Microgel-Gold Nanorods Composite Particles: Physicochemical Characterization and Cytocompatibility
Polymers 2018, 10(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10010099 - 20 Jan 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
In this paper, we report an easy route for preparing new metal nanorod-polymer composites consisting of gold nanorods, Au NRs, and temperature responsive copolymer “microgel” particles. The microgel particles of ~200 nm in size, which contain carboxylic acid groups, were prepared by surfactant-free [...] Read more.
In this paper, we report an easy route for preparing new metal nanorod-polymer composites consisting of gold nanorods, Au NRs, and temperature responsive copolymer “microgel” particles. The microgel particles of ~200 nm in size, which contain carboxylic acid groups, were prepared by surfactant-free emulsion polymerization of a selected mixture made of N-isopropylacylamide and acrylic acid in the presence of a cross-linker N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide. The electrostatic interactions between the cationic cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) stabilized Au NRs and anionic microgel particles were expected to occur in order to prepare stable Au NRs-microgel composite particles. The optical and structural characterization of the composite was achieved using UV-Vis spectroscopy, Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). TEM image shows that Au NRs are attached on the surface of the microgel particles. Dynamic light scattering measurements prove that the composite particles are temperature responsive, which means the particles undergo a decrease in size as the temperature increases above its phase transition temperature. In vitro cytotoxicity of the composite materials were tested by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and hemolysis assay, which showed non-toxicity (biocompatibility). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Bleomycin-Loaded pH-Sensitive Polymer–Lipid-Incorporated Liposomes for Cancer Chemotherapy
Polymers 2018, 10(1), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10010074 - 15 Jan 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Cancer chemotherapeutic systems with high antitumor effects and less adverse effects are eagerly desired. Here, a pH-sensitive delivery system for bleomycin (BLM) was developed using egg yolk phosphatidylcholine liposomes modified with poly(ethylene glycol)-lipid (PEG-PE) for long circulation in the bloodstream and 2-carboxycyclohexane-1-carboxylated polyglycidol-having [...] Read more.
Cancer chemotherapeutic systems with high antitumor effects and less adverse effects are eagerly desired. Here, a pH-sensitive delivery system for bleomycin (BLM) was developed using egg yolk phosphatidylcholine liposomes modified with poly(ethylene glycol)-lipid (PEG-PE) for long circulation in the bloodstream and 2-carboxycyclohexane-1-carboxylated polyglycidol-having distearoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (CHexPG-PE) for pH sensitization. The PEG-PE/CHexPG-PE-introduced liposomes showed content release responding to pH decrease and were taken up by tumor cells at a rate 2.5 times higher than that of liposomes without CHexPG-PE. BLM-loaded PEG-PE/CHexPG-PE-introduced liposomes exhibited comparable cytotoxicity with that of the free drug. Intravenous administration of these liposomes suppressed tumor growth more effectively in tumor-bearing mice than did the free drug and liposomes without CHexPG-PE. However, at a high dosage of BLM, these liposomes showed severe toxicity to the spleen, liver, and lungs, indicating the trapping of liposomes by mononuclear phagocyte systems, probably because of recognition of the carboxylates on the liposomes. An increase in PEG molecular weight on the liposome surface significantly decreased toxicity to the liver and spleen, although toxicity to the lungs remained. Further improvements such as the optimization of PEG density and lipid composition and the introduction of targeting ligands to the liposomes are required to increase therapeutic effects and to reduce adverse effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Gold Nanospheres Dispersed Light Responsive Epoxy Vitrimers
Polymers 2018, 10(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10010065 - 11 Jan 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Vitrimers represent a new class of smart materials. They are covalently crosslinked like thermosets, yet they can be reprocessed like thermoplastics. The underlying mechanism is the rapid exchange reactions which form new bonds while breaking the old ones. So far, heating is the [...] Read more.
Vitrimers represent a new class of smart materials. They are covalently crosslinked like thermosets, yet they can be reprocessed like thermoplastics. The underlying mechanism is the rapid exchange reactions which form new bonds while breaking the old ones. So far, heating is the most widely used stimulus to activate the exchange reaction. Compared to heating, light not only is much more convenient to achieve remote and regional control, but can also offer fast healing. Gold nanospheres are excellent photothermal agents, but they are difficult to disperse into vitrimers as they easily aggregate. In this paper, we use polydopamine to prepare gold nanospheres. The resultant polydopamine-coated gold nanospheres (GNS) can be well dispersed into epoxy vitrimers, endowing epoxy vitrimers with light responsivity. The composites can be reshaped permanently and temporarily with light at different intensity. Efficient surface patterning and healing are also demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of a Mini-Library of Thermo-Responsive Star (NVCL/NVP-VAc) Polymers with Tailored Properties Using a Hexafunctional Xanthate RAFT Agent
Polymers 2018, 10(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10010020 - 24 Dec 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
A mini-library of star-shaped thermoresponsive polymers having six arms was prepared using a hexafunctional xanthate by reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Star polymers with homopolymeric arms of poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PNVCL), copolymeric arms of poly(N-vinylcaprolactam-co-N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PNVCL- [...] Read more.
A mini-library of star-shaped thermoresponsive polymers having six arms was prepared using a hexafunctional xanthate by reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Star polymers with homopolymeric arms of poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PNVCL), copolymeric arms of poly(N-vinylcaprolactam-co-N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PNVCL-co-PNVP) and also arms of block copolymers of PNVCL-b-PVAc, (PNVCL-co-PNVP)-b-PVAc, and combinations of them changing the order of the block was achieved exploiting the R-RAFT synthetic methodology (or R-group approach), wherein the thiocarbonyl group is transferred to the polymeric chain end. Taking advantage of the RAFT benefits, the molecular weight of the star polymers was controlled (Mn = 11,880–153,400 g/mol) to yield star polymers of different sizes and lower critical solution temperature (LCST) values. Removing the xanthate group of the star polymers allowed for the introduction of specific functional groups at the ends of the star arms and resulted in an increase of the LCST values. Star PNVCL-b-PVAc diblock copolymers with PVAc contents of 5–26 mol % were prepared; the hydrophobic segment (PVAc) is located at the end of the star arms. Interestingly, when the PVAc content was 5–7 mol %, the hydrodynamic diameter (Dh) value of the aggregates formed in water was almost the same sa the Dh of the corresponding PNVCL star homopolymers. It is proposed that these star block copolymers self-assemble into single flowerlike micelles, showing great stability in aqueous solution. Star block copolymers with the PVAc hydrophobic block in the core of the star, such as PVAc-b-(PNVCL-co-PNVP), form micellar aggregates in aqueous solution with Dh values in the range from ~115 to 245 nm while maintaining a thermoresponsive behavior. Micellar aggregates of selected star polymers were used to encapsulate methotrexate (MTX) showing their potential in the temperature controlled release of this antineoplasic drug. The importance of the order in which each block constituent is introduced in the arms of the star polymers for their solution/aggregation behavior is demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Design of a Versatile pH-Responsive Hydrogel for Potential Oral Delivery of Gastric-Sensitive Bioactives
Polymers 2017, 9(10), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9100474 - 27 Sep 2017
Cited by 12
Abstract
A pH-responsive hydrogel system was prepared by free radical polymerization of acrylamide and methyl acrylic acid in the presence of N-N′-methylene bisacrylamide. Sodium bicarbonate was further applied as a blowing agent, which afforded a porous hydrogel structure. The hydrogel system [...] Read more.
A pH-responsive hydrogel system was prepared by free radical polymerization of acrylamide and methyl acrylic acid in the presence of N-N′-methylene bisacrylamide. Sodium bicarbonate was further applied as a blowing agent, which afforded a porous hydrogel structure. The hydrogel system achieved a constant super swelling rate within simulated intestinal buffer (~4%/min) and remained relatively static within simulated gastric buffer (~0.8%/min). The hydrogel system was able to achieve matrix resilience greater than 30% under a relatively high strain of 40%. In addition, the hydrogel system demonstrated significant swelling properties in response to simulated intestinal environmental over 24 h, with contrasting characteristics in simulated gastric buffer. The hydrogel demonstrated type IV isotherm porosity characteristics, with remarkable MRI and SEM variations in gastric and intestinal simulated fluids. Drug loading was observed to be greater than 98% using theophylline as a prototype drug, evaluating its controlled release kinetics over 24 h. The hydrogel exhibited substantial pH-responsive activity, which could be used as a versatile platform for targeted release of gastric-sensitive therapeutics to the small intestine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Polyaniline Coated Core-Shell Typed Stimuli-Responsive Microspheres and Their Electrorheology
Polymers 2018, 10(3), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030299 - 10 Mar 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Functional core-shell-structured particles have attracted considerable attention recently. This paper reviews the synthetic methods and morphologies of various electro-stimuli responsive polyaniline (PANI)-coated core-shell-type microspheres, including PANI-coated Fe3O4, SiO2, Fe2O3, TiO2, poly(methyl [...] Read more.
Functional core-shell-structured particles have attracted considerable attention recently. This paper reviews the synthetic methods and morphologies of various electro-stimuli responsive polyaniline (PANI)-coated core-shell-type microspheres, including PANI-coated Fe3O4, SiO2, Fe2O3, TiO2, poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(glycidyl methacrylate), and polystyrene along with their electrorheological (ER) characteristics when prepared by dispersing these particles in an insulating medium. In addition to the various rheological characteristics and their analysis, such as shear stress and yield stress of their ER fluids, this paper summarizes some of the mechanisms proposed for ER fluids to further understand the responses of ER fluids to an externally applied electric field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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Open AccessReview
Photosensitive Layer-by-Layer Assemblies Containing Azobenzene Groups: Synthesis and Biomedical Applications
Polymers 2017, 9(11), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9110553 - 25 Oct 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
This review provides an overview of the syntheses of photosensitive layer-by-layer (LbL) films and microcapsules modified with azobenzene derivatives and their biomedical applications. Photosensitive LbL films and microcapsules can be prepared by alternate deposition of azobenzene-bearing polymers and counter polymers on the surface [...] Read more.
This review provides an overview of the syntheses of photosensitive layer-by-layer (LbL) films and microcapsules modified with azobenzene derivatives and their biomedical applications. Photosensitive LbL films and microcapsules can be prepared by alternate deposition of azobenzene-bearing polymers and counter polymers on the surface of flat substrates and microparticles, respectively. Azobenzene residues in the films and microcapsules exhibit trans-to-cis photoisomerization under UV light, which causes changes in the physical or chemical properties of the LbL assemblies. Therefore, azobenzene-functionalized LbL films and microcapsules have been used for the construction of photosensitive biomedical devices. For instance, cell adhesion on the surface of a solid can be controlled by UV light irradiation by coating the surface with azobenzene-containing LbL films. In another example, the ion permeability of porous materials coated with LbL films can be regulated by UV light irradiation. Furthermore, azobenzene-containing LbL films and microcapsules have been used as carriers for drug delivery systems sensitive to light. UV light irradiation triggers permeability changes in the LbL films and/or decomposition of the microcapsules, which results in the release of encapsulated drugs and proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Polymers)
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