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Durham e-Theses
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The Synthesis and Self-Assembly of MPC Block Copolymers

COWIE, LAUREN (2013) The Synthesis and Self-Assembly of MPC Block Copolymers. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Biocompatible and biodegradable poly(lactide)-2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (PLA-PMPC) amphiphilic block copolymers were synthesized by a combination of Ring Opening Polymerization (ROP) and Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) polymerization techniques. The PLA-macroRAFT agent was synthesized by the derivatization of PLA-OH with RAFT agent 4-cyano-4-(phenylcarbonothioylthio)pentanoic acid (CPADB) achieving high levels of functionalization and narrow weight distributions (PDI range of 1.02-1.17). PLA-PMPC with varied MPC block lengths were synthesized yielding polymers with a narrow polydispersity PDI = 1.16-1.21. Triblock copolymers PMPC-PLA-PMPC with varying hydrophilic weight ratios were synthesized following an analogous method, the polymerizations were shown to be controlled with PDI’s of 1.24 and 1.36.
PLA-PMPC block copolymers with varied compositions were self-assembled using several techniques to target different morphologies. Nanostructures were characterised by DLS and TEM. Block copolymers with a larger PLA block length were shown to generate smaller aggregates i.e. micelles. The morphologies observed for the various block copolymers were consistent amongst different preparative techniques. Vesicle structures were reproducible by the self-assembly of PMPC50-PLA51-PMPC50, however, by preparing nanoparticles by direct dissolution micelles formed. The block copolymers were shown to encapsulate a hydrophobic dye in aqueous media thereby demonstrating its potential drug delivery applications.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:RAFT, PLA, PMPC, Diblock, Triblock, Self-Assembly
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Chemistry, Department of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Jun 2013 12:48

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