Core-shell Structure and Aggregation Number of Micelles Composed of Amphiphilic Block Copolymers and Amphiphilic Heterografted Polymer Brushes Determined by Small-Angle X-ray Scattering.
ABSTRACT: A large group of functional nanomaterials employed in biomedical applications, including targeted drug delivery, relies on amphiphilic polymers to encapsulate therapeutic payloads via self-assembly processes. Knowledge of the micelle structures will provide critical insights into design of polymeric drug delivery systems. Core-shell micelles composed of linear diblock copolymers poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(caprolactone) (PEG-b-PCL), poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(lactic acid) (PEG-b-PLA), as well as a heterografted brush consisting of a poly(glycidyl methacrylate) backbone with PEG and PLA branches (PGMA-g-PEG/PLA) were characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements to gain structural information regarding the particle morphology, core-shell size, and aggregation number. The structural information at this quasi-equilibrium state can also be used as a reference when studying the kinetics of polymer micellization.
Project description:Waterborne polyurethane (PU) based on poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) diol and an amphiphilic polylactide-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLA-PEG) diblock copolymer was synthesized. The molar ratio of PCL/PLA-PEG was 9:1 with different PLA chain lengths. The PU nanoparticles were characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and rheological analysis. The water contact angle measurement, infrared spectroscopy, wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS), thermal and mechanical analyses were conducted on PU films. Significant changes in physio-chemical properties were observed for PUs containing 10 mol % of amphiphilic blocks. The water contact angle was reduced to 12°⁻13°, and the degree of crystallinity was 5%⁻10%. The PU dispersions underwent sol-gel transition upon the temperature rise to 37 °C. The gelation time increased as the PLA chain length increased. In addition, the fractal dimension of each gel was close to that of a percolation cluster. Moreover, PU4 with a solid content of 26% could support the proliferation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Therefore, thermo-responsive hydrogels with tunable properties are promising injectable materials for cell or drug delivery.
Project description:Utilizing synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) integrated with a microfluidic device, micellization kinetics of a diblock co-polymer, poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(caprolactone) (PEG-b-PCL) was measured in situ with millisecond temporal and micrometer spatial resolution. The evolutionary regimes of polymer micellization - nucleation, fusion, and insertion were directly observed. The five-inlet microfluidic device provided steady continuous mixing of the polymer solution and the antisolvent. Solvent replacement was mainly dominated by lateral diffusion across the hydrodynamically focused central layer, whose thickness could be precisely designed and manipulated from mass balance of the partitioning streams. Knowing the micellization kinetics of the polymers is essential for design and optimization of self-assembled polymeric nanostructures. The technique of integrating SAXS with microfluidic devices can be translatable to other systems for a breadth of applications.
Project description:This study systematically compares the effects of amphiphilic diblock copolymer (di-BCP) on stabilizing hydrophobic drug nanoparticles formed by flash nanoprecipitation (FNP), and provides a guideline on choosing suitable di-BCPs. Four widely used di-BCPs, i.e., polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PS-b-PEG), polycaprolactone-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PCL-b-PEG), polylactide-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLA-b-PEG), and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA-b-PEG), and ?-carotene as a model drug were used. The study showed that PLGA-b-PEG was the most suitable one, whose hydrophobic block was biodegradable and noncrystallizable as well as had relatively high glass transition temperature (Tg) and a right solubility parameter (?). The molecular weight of PLGA block over the range from 5k to 15k showed an insignificant effect on controlling the particle size. Amorphous drug particles with a high drug loading of over 83 wt% can be achieved. Much remarkable evidence supported the nanoparticles with kinetically frozen and non-equilibrium packing structures of polymer chains rather than either the micelles or micellar nanoparticles with two well segregated polymer blocks. The thermodynamic effects of the drug and BCP on the particle stability, size and structures were discussed by using solubility parameters.
Project description:Electroactive and biocompatible fibrous scaffolds have been prepared and characterized using polyaniline (PAni) doped with dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid (DBSA) combined with poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and PLA/poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) mixtures. The composition of simple and core-shell fibers, which have been obtained by both uniaxial and coaxial electrospinning, respectively, has been corroborated by Fourier-transform infrared and micro-Raman spectroscopies. Morphological studies suggest that the incorporation of PEG enhances the packing of PLA and PAni chains, allowing the regulation of the thickness of the fibers. PAni and PEG affect the thermal and electrical properties of the fibers, both decreasing the glass transition temperature and increasing the electrical conductivity. Interestingly, the incorporation of PEG improves the PAni-containing paths associated with the conduction properties. Although dose response curves evidence the high cytotoxicity of PAni/DBSA, cell adhesion and cell proliferation studies on PLA/PAni fibers show a reduction of such harmful effects as the conducting polymer is mainly retained inside the fibers through favorable PAni···PLA interactions. The incorporation of PEG into uniaxial fibers resulted in an increment of the cell mortality, which has been attributed to its rapid dissolution into the culture medium and the consequent enhancement of PAni release. In opposition, the delivery of PAni decreases and, therefore, the biocompatibility of the fibers increases when a shell coating the PAni-containing system is incorporated through coaxial electrospinning. Finally, morphological and functional studies using cardiac cells indicated that these fibrous scaffolds are suitable for cardiac tissue engineering applications.
Project description:Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) side-chain functionalized lactide analogues have been synthesized in four steps from commercially available L-lactide. The key step in the synthesis is the 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition between PEG-azides and a highly strained spirolactide-heptene monomer, which proceeds in high conversions. The PEG-grafted lactides analogues were polymerized via ring-opening polymerization using triazacyclodecene as organocatalyst to give well-defined tri- and hepta-(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactide)s (PLA) with molecular weights above 10 kDa and polydispersity indices between 1.6 and 2.1. PEG-poly(lactide) (PLA) with PEG chain M(n) 2000 was also prepared but GPC analysis showed a bimodal profile indicating the presence of starting macromonomer. Cell adhesion assays were performed using MC3T3 E-1 osteoblast-like cells demonstrating that PEG-containing PLA reduces cell adhesion significantly when compared to unfunctionalized PLA.
Project description:Poly(2-isopropyl-2-oxazoline)-b-poly(lactide) (PiPOx-b-PLA) diblock copolymers comprise two miscible blocks: the hydrophilic and thermosensitive PiPOx and the hydrophobic PLA, a biocompatible and biodegradable polyester. They self-assemble in water, forming stable dispersions of nanoparticles with hydrodynamic radii (R h) ranging from ?18 to 60 nm, depending on their molar mass, the relative size of the two blocks, and the configuration of the lactide unit. Evidence from 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, light scattering, small-angle neutron scattering, and cryo-transmission electron microscopy indicates that the nanoparticles do not adopt the typical core-shell morphology. Aqueous nanoparticle dispersions heated from 20 to 80 °C were monitored by turbidimetry and microcalorimetry. Nanoparticles of copolymers containing a poly(dl-lactide) block coagulated irreversibly upon heating to 50 °C, forming particles of various shapes (R h ? 200-500 nm). Dispersions of PiPOx-b-poly(l-lactide) coagulated to a lesser extent or remained stable upon heating. From the entire experimental evidence, we conclude that PiPOx-b-PLA nanoparticles consist of a core of PLA/PiPOx chains associated via dipole-dipole interactions of the PLA and PiPOx carbonyl groups. The core is surrounded by tethered PiPOx loops and tails responsible for the colloidal stability of the nanoparticles in water. While the core of all nanoparticles studied contains associated PiPOx and PLA blocks, fine details of the nanoparticles morphology vary predictably with the size and composition of the copolymers, yielding particles of distinctive thermosensitivity in aqueous dispersions.
Project description:A fluorescence-labeled bioresorbable polymer was prepared by a coupling reaction of poly(ethylene glycol)-polylactide (PEG-PLA) with carboxyl pyrene, using N,N'-diisopropylcarbodiimide/1-hydroxy-7-azabenzotriazole (DIC/HOAt) as a coupling agent and 4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP) as a catalyst. The obtained copolymer, termed PEG-PLA-pyrene, was characterized using various analytical techniques, such as gel permeation chromatography (GPC), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), proton nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H-NMR), infrared spectroscopy (IR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), to identify the molecular structure and to monitor the thermal property changes before and after the reaction. The presence of a pyrene moiety at the end of polylactide (PLA) did not alter the crystallization ability of the poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) blocks, indicating that the conjugate preserved the inherent thermal properties of PEG-PLA. However, the presence of PEG-PLA blocks strongly reduced the melting of pyrene, indicating that the thermal characteristics were sensitive to PEG-PLA incorporation. Regarding the physicochemical behavior in aqueous solution, a higher concentration of PEG-PLA-pyrene resulted in a higher ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) absorbance and fluorescence emission intensity. This is of great interest for the use of this conjugate as a fluorescence probe to study the in vivo distribution as well as the internalization and intracellular localization of polymeric micelles.
Project description:In this work, biotin surface functionalized hydrophilic non-water-soluble biocompatible poly(lactic acid) (PLA) nanofibers are created for their potential use as biosensors. Varying concentrations of biotin (up to 18 weight total percent (wt %)) were incorporated into PLA fibers together with poly(lactic acid)-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLA-b-PEG) block polymers. While biotin provided surface functionalization, PLA-b-PEG provided hydrophilicity to the final fibers. Morphology and surface-available biotin of the final fibers were studied by Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) and competitive colorimetric assays. The incorporation of PLA-b-PEG block copolymers not only decreased fiber diameters but also dramatically increased the amount of biotin available at the fiber surface able to bind avidin. Finally, fiber water stability tests revealed that both biotin and PLA-b-PEG, migrated to the aqueous phase after relatively extended periods of water exposure. The functional hydrophilic nanofiber created in this work shows a potential application as a biosensor for point-of-care diagnostics.
Project description:Electrospun polymer/hydroxyapatite (HA) composites combining biodegradability with osteoconductivity are attractive for skeletal tissue engineering applications. However, most biodegradable polymers such as poly(lactic acid) (PLA) are hydrophobic and do not blend with adequate interfacial adhesion with HA, compromising the structural homogeneity, mechanical integrity and biological performance of the composite. To overcome this challenge, we combined a hydrophilic polyethylene glycol (PEG) block with poly(d,l-lactic acid) to improve the adhesion of the degradable polymer with HA. The amphiphilic triblock copolymer PLA-PEG-PLA (PELA) improved the stability of HA-PELA suspension at 25wt.% HA content, which was readily electrospun into HA-PELA composite scaffolds with uniform fiber dimensions. HA-PELA was highly extensible (failure strain>200% vs. <40% for HA-PLA), superhydrophilic (?0° water contact angle vs. >100° for HA-PLA), and exhibited an 8-fold storage modulus increase (unlike deterioration for HA-PLA) upon hydration, owing to the favorable interaction between HA and PEG. HA-PELA also better promoted osteochondral lineage commitment of bone marrow stromal cells in unstimulated culture and supported far more potent osteogenic gene expression upon induction than HA-PLA. We demonstrate that the chemical incorporation of PEG is an effective strategy to improve the performance of degradable polymer/HA composites for bone tissue engineering applications.
Project description:Iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) with a diameter 21.6 nm were coated with poly(maleic acid-alt-1-octadecene) (PMAcOD) modified with grafted 5,000 Da poly(ethyelene glycol) (PEG) or short ethylene glycol (EG) tails. The coating procedure utilizes hydrophobic interactions of octadecene and oleic acid tails, while the hydrolysis of maleic anhydride moieties as well as the presence of hydrophilic PEG (EG) tails allows the NP hydrophilicity. The success of the NP coating was found to be independent of the degree of grafting which was varied between 20 and 80% of the -MacOD-units, but depended on the length of the grafted tail. The NP coating and hydrophilization did not occur when the modified copolymer contained 750 Da PEG tails independently of the grafting degree. To explain this phenomenon the micellization of the modified PMAcOD copolymers in water was analyzed by small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS). The PMAcOD molecules with the grafted 750 Da PEG tails form compact non-interacting disk-like micelles, whose stability apparently allows for no interactions with the NP hydrophobic shells. The PMAcOD containing the 5,000 Da PEG and EG tails form much larger aggregates capable of an efficient coating of the NPs. The coated NPs were characterized using transmission electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, ?-potential measurements, and thermal gravimetry analysis. The latter method demonstrated that the presence of long PEG tails in modified PMAcOD allows the attachment of fewer macromolecules (by a factor of ~20) compared to the case of non-modified or EG modified PMAcOD, emphasizing the importance of PEG tails in NP hydrophilization. The NPs coated with PMAcOD modified with 60% (towards all -MAcOD- units) of the 5,000 PEG tails bear a significant negative charge and display good stability in buffers. Such NPs can be useful as magnetic cores for virus-like particle formation.