Non-reactive, thermoplastic prepolymers (poly- methyl, ethyl and butyl methacrylate) were added to a model homopolymer matrix composed of triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA) to form heterogeneous networks via polymerization induced phase separation (PIPS). PIPS creates networks with distinct phase structure that can partially compensate for volumetric shrinkage during polymerization through localized internal volume expansion. This investigation utilizes purely photo-initiated, free-radical systems, broadening the scope of applications for PIPS since these processing conditions have not been studied previously.
The introduction of prepolymer into TEGDMA monomer resulted in stable, homogeneous monomer formulations, most of which underwent PIPS upon photo-irradiation, creating heterogeneous networks. During polymerization the presence of prepolymer enhanced autoacceleration, allowing for a more extensive ambient cure of the material. Phase separation, as characterized by dynamic changes in sample turbidity, was monitored simultaneously with monomer conversion and either preceded or was coincident with network gelation. Dynamic mechanical analysis shows a broadening of the tan delta peak and secondary peak formation, characteristic of phase-separated materials, indicating one phase rich in prepolymer and another depleted form upon phase separation. In certain cases, PIPS leads to an enhanced physical reduction of volumetric shrinkage, which is attractive for many applications including dental composite materials.
By use of the Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD) simulation technique mixtures of star-branched (arm number F = 4) and linear chains in athermal (good) solvent are analyzed regarding probabilities for intermolecular contacts of various reactive sites within different polymer coils. The accompanying sterical hindrances are described in the framework of shielding factors in order to investigate reactions and side reactions in radical polymerization and other techniques that involve polymer–polymer coupling. The shielding factors are studied as a function of total concentration from high dilution up to the bulk for different chain lengths of star-shaped and linear chains. Results indicate that their concentration dependence can be described by a power law for systems above the overlap concentration, whereas the chain length dependence vanishes when extrapolating to infinite chain lengths in that concentration range. Also the influence of the ratio of star chains and linear chains is studied for various concentrations.
Polymer reaction; Dissipative Particle Dynamics; Shielding factor
In this study, we develop thiol/acrylate two-stage reactive network forming polymer systems that exhibit two distinct and orthogonal stages of curing. Using a thiol-acrylate system with excess acrylate functional groups, a first stage polymer network is formed via a 1 to 1 stoichiometric thiol-acrylate Michael addition reaction (stage 1). At a later point in time, the excess acrylate functional groups are homopolymerized via a photoinitiated free radical polymerization to form a second stage polymer network (stage 2). By varying the monomers within the system as well as the stoichiometery of the thiol to acrylate functional groups, we demonstrate the ability of the two-stage polymer network forming systems to encompass a wide range of properties at the end of both the stage 1 and stage 2 polymerizations. Using urethane di- and hexa-acrylates within the formulations led to two-stage reactive polymeric systems with stage 1 Tgs that ranged from −12 to 30 °C. The systems were then photocured, upon which the Tg of the systems increases by up to 90 °C while also achieving a nearly 20 fold modulus increase.
Poly(β-amino ester) networks are being explored for biomedical applications, but they may lack the mechanical properties necessary for long term implantation. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of adding methyl methacrylate on networks' mechanical properties under simulated physiological conditions. The networks were synthesized in two parts: (1) a biodegradable crosslinker was formed from a diacrylate and amine, (2) and then varying concentrations of methyl methacrylate were added prior to photopolymerizing the network. Degradation rate, mechanical properties, and glass transition temperature were studied as a function of methyl methacrylate composition. The crosslinking density played a limited role on mechanical properties for these networks, but increasing methyl methacrylate concentration improved the toughness by several orders of magnitude. Under simulated physiological conditions, networks showed increasing toughness or sustained toughness as degradation occurred. This work establishes a method of creating degradable networks with tailorable toughness while undergoing partial degradation.
Poly(β-amino ester); Degradable; Toughness
Double hydrophilic copolymers (PEG-b-PCDs) with one PEG block and another block containing β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) units were synthesized by macromolecular substitution reaction. Via a dialysis procedure, complex assemblies with a core-shell structure were prepared using PEG-b-PCDs in the presence of a hydrophobic homopolymer poly(β-benzyl L-aspartate) (PBLA). The hydrophobic PBLA resided preferably in the cores of assemblies, while the extending PEG chains acted as the outer shell. Host-guest interaction between β-CD and hydrophobic benzyl group was found to mediate the formation of the assemblies, where PEG-b-PCD and PBLA served as the host and guest macromolecules, respectively. The particle size of the assemblies could be modulated by the composition of the host PEG-b-PCD copolymer. The molecular weight of the guest polymer also had a significant effect on the size of the assemblies. The assemblies prepared from the host and guest polymer pair were stable during a long-term storage. These assemblies could also be successfully reconstituted after freeze-drying. The assemblies may therefore be used as novel nanocarriers for the delivery of hydrophobic drugs.
Host-guest interactions; Self-assembly; β-Cyclodextrin; Core-shell nano-assemblies; Drug delivery
The objective of this work is to characterize and understand the structure-to-thermo-mechanical property relationship in thiol-ene and thiol-ene/acrylate copolymers in order to complement the existing studies on the kinetics of this polymerization reaction. Forty-one distinct three- and four-part mixtures were created with systematically varied functionality, chemical structure, type and concentration of crosslinker. The resulting polymers were subjected to dynamic mechanical analysis and tensile testing at their glass transition temperature, Tg, to quantify and understand their thermomechanical properties. The copolymer systems exhibited a broad range of Tg, rubbery modulus - Er and failure strain. The addition of a difunctional high-Tg acrylate to several three-part systems increased the resultant Tg and Er. Higher crosslink densities generally resulted in higher stress and lower strain at failure. The tunability of the thermomechanical properties of these copolymer systems is discussed in terms of inherent advantages and limitations in light of pure acrylate systems.
thiol-ene; thermomechanics; acrylate
Thermoresponsive shape memory polymers (SMPs) are a type of stimuli-sensitive materials that switch from a temporary shape back to their permanent shape upon exposure to heat. While the majority of SMPs have been fabricated in the solid form, porous SMP foams exhibit distinct properties and are better suited for certain applications, including some in the biomedical field. Like solid SMPs, SMP foams have been restricted to a limited group of organic polymer systems. In this study, we prepared inorganic–organic SMP foams based on the photochemical cure of a macromer comprised of inorganic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) segments and organic poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) segments, diacrylated PCL40-block-PDMS37-block-PCL40. To achieve tunable pore size with high interconnectivity, the SMP foams were prepared via a refined solvent-casting/particulate-leaching (SCPL) method. By varying design parameters such as degree of salt fusion, macromer concentration in the solvent and salt particle size, the SMP foams with excellent shape memory behavior and tunable pore size, pore morphology, and modulus were obtained.
Polymeric materials; Porous materials; Shape memory materials
Viability of encapsulated cells in situ crosslinkable macromonomers depends strongly on the minimum concentration of polymerization initiators and monomers required for gelation. Novel 4-arm poly(ethylene oxide-co-lactide-glycolide acrylate) (SPELGA) macromonomers were synthesized and characterized with respect to gelation, sol fraction, degradation, and swelling in aqueous solution. SPELGA macromonomers were crosslinked in the absence of N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (NVP) monomer to produce a hydrogel network with a shear modulus of 27±4 kPa. The shear modulus of the gels increased by 170-fold as the macromonomer concentration was increased from 10 to 25 wt%. Sol fraction ranged between 8–18%. Addition of only 0.4 mol% NVP to the polymerization mixture increased modulus by 2.2-fold from 27±4 (no NVP) to 60±10 kPa. The higher modulus was attributed to the dilution effect of polymer chains in the sol, by delaying the onset of diffusion-controlled reaction, and cross-propagation of the growing chains with network-bound SPELGA acrylates. Degradation of SPELGA gels depended on water content and density of hydrolytically degradable ester groups.
star macromonomer; degradable; gelation kinetics
Chain-transfer reactions from thiols to methacrylates are expected to delay gelation and possibly reduce stress at the bonded interface of dental restorations. Thiol additives with varying structures were combined with a dimethacrylate commonly used in dental materials. Polymerization stress/modulus development were monitored by a tensometer/rheometer, respectively, both coupled with RT-NIR. For all thiol-modified materials, conversion and modulus were 5–25 % higher than the control, and maximum reaction rate was 25–50 % lower. Gel point conversions were 12–22 % (control=5 %), and deceleration was observed at later stages in conversion (30–60 %; control=15 %). Consequently, even with increased conversion/modulus, stress values were either equal or reduced compared to the control. This approach does not require any modification in the bonding/photoactivation procedures, and seems promising for stress management not only in polymeric dental materials, but also for other applications of glassy, crosslinked photopolymers, as long as thiol volatility is addressed.
Methacrylates; gel-point conversion; polymerization stress; chain-transfer reactions; networks
The objective of this research was to examine the capabilities of QSPR (Quantitative Structure Property Relationship) modeling to predict specific biological responses (fibrinogen adsorption, cell attachment and cell proliferation index) on thin films of different polymethacrylates. Using 33 commercially available monomers it is theoretically possible to construct a library of over 40,000 distinct polymer compositions. A subset of these polymers were synthesized and solvent cast surfaces were prepared in 96 well plates for the measurement of fibrinogen adsorption. NIH 3T3 cell attachment and proliferation index were measured on spin coated thin films of these polymers. Based on the experimental results of these polymers, separate models were built for homo-, co-, and terpolymers in the library with good correlation between experiment and predicted values. The ability to predict biological responses by simple QSPR models for large numbers of polymers has important implications in designing biomaterials for specific biological or medical applications.
Combinatorial; Polymethacrylates; Quantitative Structure Property Relation (QSPR)
Electrochemical deposition of the conjugated polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) forms thin, conductive films that are especially suitable for charge transfer at the tissue-electrode interface of neural implants. For this study, the effects of counter-ion choice and annealing parameters on the electrical and structural properties of PEDOT were investigated. Films were polymerized with various organic and inorganic counter-ions. Studies of crystalline order were conducted via X-ray diffraction (XRD). Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) were used to investigate the electrical properties of these films. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was used to investigate surface chemistry of PEDOT films. The results of XRD experiments showed that films polymerized with certain small counter-ions have a regular structure with strong (100) edge-to-edge correlations of PEDOT chains at ~1.3 nm. After annealing at 170 °C for 1 hour, the XRD peaks attributed to PEDOT disappeared. PEDOT polymerized with LiClO4 as a counter-ion showed improved impedance and charge storage capacity after annealing at 160 °C.
Conducting polymers; PEDOT; XRD
A new type of pH-labile cationic polymers, poly(ortho ester amidine) (POEAmd) copolymers, has been synthesized and characterized with potential future application as gene delivery carriers. The acid-labile POEAmd copolymer was synthesized by polycondensation of a new ortho ester diamine monomer with dimethylaliphatimidates, and a non-acid-labile polyamidine (PAmd) copolymer was also synthesized for comparison using a triethylene glycol diamine monomer. Both copolymers were easily dissolved in water, and can efficiently bind and condense plasmid DNA at neutral pH, forming nano-scale polyplexes. The physico-chemical properties of the polyplexes have been studied using dynamic light scattering, gel electrophoresis, ethidium bromide exclusion, and heparin competition. The average size of the polyplexes was dependent on the amidine: phosphate (N:P) ratio of the polymers to DNA. Polyplexes containing the acid-labile POEAmd or the non-acid-labile PAmd showed similar average particle size, comparable strength of condensing DNA, and resistance to electrostatic destabilization. They also share similar metabolic toxicity to cells as measured by MTT assay. Importantly, the acid-labile polyplexes undergo accelerated polymer degradation at mildly-acid-pHs, resulting in increasing particle size and the release of intact DNA plasmid. Polyplexes from both types of polyamidines caused distinct changes in the scattering properties of Baby Hamster Kidney (BHK-21) cells, showing swelling and increasing intracellular granularity. These cellular responses are uniquely different from other cationic polymers such as polyethylenimine and point to stress-related mechanisms specific to the polyamidines. Gene transfection of BHK-21 cells was evaluated by flow cytometry. The positive yet modest transfection efficiency by the polyamidines (acid-labile and non-acid-labile alike) underscores the importance of balancing polymer degradation and DNA release with endosomal escape. Insights gained from studying such acid-labile polyamidine-based DNA carriers and their interaction with cells may contribute to improved design of practically useful gene delivery systems.
Copolymer; Ortho ester; Gene delivery
The actuation strain and speed of ionic electroactive polymer (EAP) actuators are mainly determined by the charge transport through the actuators and excess ion storage near the electrodes. We employ a recently developed theory on ion transport and storage to investigate the charge dynamics of short-side-chain Aquivion® (Hyflon®) membranes with different uptakes of ionic liquid (IL) 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate (EMI-Tf). The results reveal the existence of a critical uptake of ionic liquids above which the membrane exhibit a high ionic conductivity (σ>5×10−2 mS/cm). Especially, we investigate the charge dynamics under voltages which are in the range for practical device operation (~1 volts and higher). The results show that the ionic conductivity, ionic mobility, and mobile ion concentration do not change with the applied voltage below 1 volt (and for σ below 4 volts). The results also show that bending actuation of the Aquivion membrane with 40 wt% EMI-Tf is much larger than that of Nafion, indicating that the shorter flexible side chains improve the electromechanical coupling between the excess ions and the membrane backbones, while not affect the actuation speed.
ionic electroactive polymer actuator; ionic liquids; Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations; Aquivion; Nafion
Polypyrrole (PPy) is a biocompatible, electrically conductive polymer that has great potential for battery, sensor, and neural implant applications. Its amorphous structure and insolubility, however, limit the experimental techniques available to study its structure and properties at the atomic level. Previous theoretical studies of PPy in bulk are also scarce. Using ab initio calculations, we have constructed a molecular mechanics force field of chloride-doped PPy (PPyCl) and undoped PPy. This model has been designed to integrate into the OPLS force field, and parameters are available for the Gromacs and TINKER software packages. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of bulk PPy and PPyCl have been performed using this force field, and the effects of chain packing and electrostatic scaling on the bulk polymer density have been investigated. The density of flotation of PPyCl films has been measured experimentally. Amorphous X-ray diffraction of PPyCl was obtained and correlated with atomic structures sampled from MD simulations. The force field reported here is foundational for bridging the gap between experimental measurements and theoretical calculations for PPy based materials.
polypyrrole; conducting polymers; molecular mechanics; characterization; quantum mechanics; force field; parameters
The osmotic and scattering properties of hyaluronan-based composite hydrogels composed of stiff biopolymer chains (carboxymethylated thiolated hyaluronan (CMHA-S)) crosslinked by a flexible polymer (polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA)) are investigated and analyzed in terms of the scaling theory. The total pre-gel polymer weight concentration is varied between 0.5 wt.% and 3.2 wt.%, while the mole ratio between the reactive PEG chain ends and the thiolated HA moieties is changed between 0.15 and 1.0. The shear modulus G of the fully swollen gels exhibits a stronger dependence on pre-gel concentration than on the crosslink density. Osmotic deswelling measurements reveal that the osmotic mixing pressure depends on the weight ratio CMHA-S/PEGDA, and is practically unaffected by the pre-gel concentration. Small-angle neutron scattering observations indicate that the thermodynamic properties of these composite gels are governed by total polymer concentration, i.e., specific interactions between the two polymeric components do not play a significant role.
elasticity; biopolymer; hydrogel; swelling pressure; osmotic modulus
In this study we introduce the use of thiol-ene photopolymers as shape memory polymer systems. The thiol-ene polymer networks are compared to a commonly utilized acrylic shape memory polymer and shown to have significantly improved properties for two different thiol-ene based polymer formulations. Using thermomechanical and mechanical analysis, we demonstrate that thiol-ene based shape memory polymer systems have comparable thermomechanical properties while also exhibiting a number of advantageous properties due to the thiol-ene polymerization mechanism which results in the formation of a homogenous polymer network with low shrinkage stress and negligible oxygen inhibition. The resulting thiol-ene shape memory polymer systems are tough and flexible as compared to the acrylic counterparts. The polymers evaluated in this study were engineered to have a glass transition temperature between 30 and 40 °C, exhibited free strain recovery of greater than 96% and constrained stress recovery of 100%. The thiol-ene polymers exhibited excellent shape fixity and a rapid and distinct shape memory actuation response.
Thiol-ene; Shape memory polymer; Photopolymer; Biomaterials
Hydration- and temperature-induced microphase separations were investigated by simultaneous small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS and WAXS) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) in a family of copolymers in which hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) blocks are inserted randomly into a hydrophobic polymer made of either desaminotyrosyl-tyrosine ethyl ester (DTE) or iodinated I2DTE segments. Iodination of the tyrosine rings in I2DTE increased the X-ray contrast between the hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments in addition to facilitating the study of the effect of iodination on microphase separation. The formation of phase-separated, hydrated PEG domains is of considerable significance as it profoundly affects the polymer properties. The copolymers of DTE (or I2DTE) and PEG are a useful model system and the findings presented here may be applicable to other PEG-containing random copolymers as well. In copolymers of PEG and DTE and I2DTE, the presence of PEG depressed the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the copolymer relative to the homopolymer, poly(DTE carbonate), and the DTE/ I2DTE segments hindered the crystallization of the PEG segments. In the dry state, at large PEG fractions (> 70 vol%), the PEG domains self-assembled into an ordered structure with 14–18 nm distance between the domains. These domains gave rise to a SAXS peak at all temperatures in the iodinated polymers, but only above the Tg in non-iodinated polymers, due to the unexpected contrast- match between the crystalline PEG domains and the glassy DTE segments. Irrespective of whether PEG was crystalline or not, immersion of these copolymers in water resulted in the formation of hydrated PEG domains that were 10–20 nm apart. Since both water and the polymer chains must be mobile for the phase separation to occur, the PEG domains disappeared when the water froze, and reappeared as the ice began to melt. This transformation was reversible, and showed hysteresis as did the melting of ice and freezing of the water incorporated into the polymer. PEG-water complexes and PEG-water eutectics were observed in WAXS and DSC scans, respectively.
PEG copolymers; hydrophilic blocks; hydrophobic segments, tyroine-derived polymers; hydration; phase separation; X-ray scattering; SAXS; WAXS; DSC
The purpose of this study is to evaluate how the toughness of photopolymerizable (meth)acrylate networks is influenced by physiological conditions. By utilizing two ternary (meth)acrylate networks, MA-co-MMA-co-PEGDMA and 2HEMA-co-BMA-co-PEGDMA, relationships between glass transition temperature (Tg), water content and state, and toughness were studied by varying the weight ratio of the linear monomers (MA to MMA or 2HEMA to BMA). Differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis were performed to evaluate the thermal behavior and water content as a function of either MA or 2HEMA concentration while tensile strain-to-failure tests were performed at 37°C to determine network toughness. Both networks exhibited a maximum in toughness in PBS in the composition corresponding to a Tg close to the testing temperature. This toughness maximum was achieved by adjusting the glass transition temperature and/or hydrophilicity through changes in chemistry. These relationships may be utilized to design tough photopolymerizable networks for use in mechanically rigorous biomedical applications.
toughness; photopolymerization; glass transition temperature
The effect of polymer composition and polymerization parameters such as comonomers, crosslinking ratio, and polymerization method, on the surface characteristics, surface chemistry, and swelling response of crosslinked 2-(diethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (DEAEM) and polyethylene glycol monoethyl ether monomethacrylate (PEGMMA) nanogels was studied. A novel inverse-emulsion polymerization method was developed, which formed latex nanoparticles on the order of 100–400 nm. The properties of these nanogels were compared to microparticles synthesized via solution polymerization. The new polymerization method allowed the incorporation of PEG surface tethers of lengths 400 Da up to 2000 Da. Surface tethers successfully decreased the ζ-potential of these nanogels from 70 mV to 30 mV in acidic conditions and from −60 mV to 2 mV in basic media. Nanogels swelled from 100 nm in basic media to 800 nm in acidic media due to the protonation of the tertiary amine on DEAEM.
nanoparticles; methacrylates; cationic hydrogels
Diffusion coefficients of small oligosaccharides within high strength poly(ethylene glycol)/poly(acrylic acid) interpenetrating network (PEG/PAA IPN) hydrogels were measured by diffusion through hydrogel slabs. The ability of hindered diffusion models previously presented in the literature to fit the experimental data is examined. A model based solely on effects due to hydrodynamics is compared to a model based solely on solute obstruction. To examine the effect of polymer volume fraction on the observed diffusion coefficients, the equilibrium volume fraction of polymer in PEG/PAA IPNs was systematically varied by changing the initial PEG polymer concentration in hydrogel precursor solutions from 20 to 50 wt./wt.%. To examine the effect of solute radius on the observed diffusion coefficients, solute radii were varied from 3.3 to 5.1 Å by measuring diffusion coefficients of glucose, a monosaccharide; maltose, a disaccharide; and maltotriose, a trisaccharide. Both the hydrodynamic and obstruction models rely on scaling relationships to predict diffusion coefficients. The proper scaling relationship for each of the hindered diffusion models is evaluated based on fits to experimental data. The scaling relationship employed is found to have a greater significance for the hydrodynamic model than the obstruction model. Regardless of the scaling relationship employed, the obstruction model provides a better fit to our experimental data than the hydrodynamic model.
hydrogel; diffusion; interpenetrating polymer network
We present a material design strategy of combining crystallinity and crosslinking to control the mechanical properties of polymeric biomaterials. Three polycaprolactone fumarates (PCLF530, PCLF1250, and PCLF2000) synthesized from the precursor polycaprolactone (PCL) diols with nominal molecular weights of 530, 1250, and 2000 g.mol-1, respectively, were employed to fabricate polymer networks via photo-crosslinking process. Five different amounts of photo-crosslinking initiator were applied during fabrication in order to understand the role of photoinitiator in modulating the crosslinking characteristics and physical properties of PCLF networks. Thermal properties such as glass transition temperature (Tg), melting temperature (Tm), and degradation temperature (Td) of photo-crosslinked PCLFs were examined and correlated with their rheological and mechanical properties.
Polycaprolactone fumarate; Photo-crosslinking; Mechanical Properties
A systematic procedure has been developed to construct a relaxed dense-phase atomistic structure of a complex amorphous polymer. The numerical procedure consists of (1) coarse graining the atomistic model of the polymer into a mesoscopic model based on an iterative algorithm for potential inversion from distribution functions of the atomistic model, (2) relaxation of the coarse grained chain using a molecular dynamics scheme, and (3) recovery of the atomistic structure by reverse mapping based on the superposition of atomistic counterparts on the corresponding coarse grained coordinates. These methods are demonstrated by their application to construct a relaxed, dense-phase model of poly(DTB succinate), which is an amorphous tyrosine-derived biodegradable polymer that is being developed for biomedical applications. Both static and dynamic properties from the coarse-grained and atomistic simulations are analyzed and compared. The coarse-grained model, which contains the essential features of the DTB succinate structure, successfully described both local and global structural properties of the atomistic chain. The effective speedup compared to the corresponding atomistic simulation is substantially above 102, thus enabling simulation times to reach well into the characteristic experimental regime. The computational approach for reversibly bridging between coarse-grained and atomistic models provides an efficient method to produce relaxed dense-phase all-atom molecular models of complex amorphous polymers that can subsequently be used to study and predict the atomistic-level behavior of the polymer under different environmental conditions in order to optimally design polymers for targeted applications.
We present a unified method to generate conformational statistics which can be applied to any of the classical discrete-chain polymer models. The proposed method employs the concepts of Fourier transform and generalized convolution for the group of rigid-body motions in order to obtain probability density functions of chain end-to-end distance. In this paper, we demonstrate the proposed method with three different cases: the freely-rotating model, independent energy model, and interdependent pairwise energy model (the last two are also well-known as the Rotational Isomeric State model). As for numerical examples, for simplicity, we assume homogeneous polymer chains. For the freely-rotating model, we verify the proposed method by comparing with well-known closed-form results for mean-squared end-to-end distance. In the interdependent pairwise energy case, we take polypeptide chains such as polyalanine and polyvaline as examples.
Conformational statistics; Rigid-body motion group; Noncommutative harmonic analysis
High molecular weight, high functionality diamino telechelic polybutadienes (TPBs) were synthesized by ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of 1,5-cyclooctadiene (COD) in the presence of a chain transfer agent, 1,8-dicyano-4-octene, followed by lithium aluminum hydride reduction. Melt coupling of diamino TPB with anhydride-terminated polystyrene (PS-anh) resulted in the formation of styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) triblock copolymers; ca. 80% maximum conversion of PS-anh was achieved within 30 seconds. The results from SAXS, TEM, and rheological measurements of the coupling products confirmed the formation of SBS triblock copolymers having lamellar morphology. A fluororesent-labeled PS-anh was used to study the coupling kinetics by diluting the reactants by the addition of non-functional PS.
ROMP; reactive melt blending; amine anhydride coupling
The aim of this study was to investigate the preparation, characterization, and encapsulation/release performance of an electrospun composite nanofiber mat. The hypothesis was that the composite nanofiber mat with nano-scaled drug particles impregnated in biocompatible and biodegradable polymer nanofibers can serve as an innovative type of tissue engineering scaffold with desired and controllable drug encapsulation/release properties. To test the hypothesis, the composite nanofiber mat electrospun from an emulsion consisting of poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) Rhodamine B (a model compound to simulate drugs), sorbitan monooleate (Span-80, a non-ionic emulsifier/surfactant that is presumably non-toxic/safe for cell-growth), chloroform, DMF, and distilled water was prepared and characterized; and the Rhodamine B encapsulation/release profile in phosphate buffered saline (pH = 7.4) was recorded and analyzed. For comparison purposes, two additional nanofiber mats electrospun from (1) a solution containing PLGA and Rhodamine B, and (2) a solution containing PLGA, Rhodamine B, and Span-80 were also prepared and assessed as the control samples. The results indicated that the composite nanofiber mat electrospun from the emulsion had the most desired and controllable Rhodamine B encapsulation/release profile and the excellent morphological sustainability; thus, it could be utilized as both a drug encapsulation/release vehicle and a tissue engineering scaffold.
Drug release; Electrospinning; Nanofiber; Non-woven mats; PLGA