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See detailElaboration of drug nanocarriers based on a glucosamine labeled amphiphilic polymer
Boyère, Cédric; Duhem, N; Debuigne, Antoine ULg et al

in Polymer Chemistry (in press)

A new functional polymer micelle with high loading efficiency of a poorly soluble drug was made of biocompatible and/or biosourced compounds, i.e. cholesterol-poly(ethylene glycol)-glucosamine (Chol-PEG ... [more ▼]

A new functional polymer micelle with high loading efficiency of a poorly soluble drug was made of biocompatible and/or biosourced compounds, i.e. cholesterol-poly(ethylene glycol)-glucosamine (Chol-PEG-GlcNH2). A synthesis strategy combining enzymatic and metal-free click chemistry was developed in order to meet the increasingly stringent requirements of biomedical applications. After the self-assembly of the Chol-PEG-GlcNH2 amphiphilic polymer in water, the presence of glucosamine at the micelle surface confers an active targeting moiety to the nanocarriers whereas protonation of the peripheral primary amine delay their aggregation. The complete characterization of this novel functional amphiphilic bioconjugate is presented as well as its aqueous solution behaviour and encapsulation efficiency using ketoconazole as a model hydrophobic drug. [less ▲]

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See detailGold nanorods coated with a thermo-responsive poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) corona as drug delivery systems for remotely near infrared-triggered release
Liu, Ji ULg; Detrembleur, Christophe ULg; De Pauw, Marie-Claire ULg et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2014), 5(3), 799-813

Poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PEG-b-PNVCL) copolymers are prepared from a PEG macro-chain transfer agent in DMF at 65 °C via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT ... [more ▼]

Poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PEG-b-PNVCL) copolymers are prepared from a PEG macro-chain transfer agent in DMF at 65 °C via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The well-defined PEG114-b-PNVCL237 copolymer with a cloud point temperature of 39 °C is used for the formation of a thermo-responsive polymer corona on the surface of gold nanorods (GNRs) via a “grafting-to” approach. Thermo-responsiveness and thermo-dependent optical properties of the as-obtained GNR@PEG-b-PNVCL nanoparticles are studied with dynamic light scattering and UV/vis spectroscopy techniques. Near infrared (NIR)-induced heating of GNR@PEG-b-PNVCL is also explored in aqueous suspension under NIR laser irradiation (802 nm, up to 250 mW). The potential of these GNR@PEG-b-PNVCL nanoparticles to be used as smart drug delivery systems (DDS) is then studied. A hydrophilic drug model, Rhodamine ® B, is used to assess the guest loading capacity, and triggered release behaviours are then evaluated under conventional external heating or internal heating induced by remote NIR irradiation. Cytotoxicity evaluation of the GNR@PEG-b-PNVCL against the fibroblast-like L929 cell line is carried out via the MTS assay in order to confirm the improved biocompatibility of the GNRs after polymer coating. These thermo-responsive GNR@PEG-b-PNVCL nanoparticles are promising DDS that combine the chemotherapeutic and phototherapeutic functions. [less ▲]

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See detailReversibly crosslinked thermo- and redox-responsive nanogels for controlled drug release
Liu, Ji ULg; Detrembleur, Christophe ULg; Hurtgen, Marie ULg et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2014), 5(1), 77-88

Reversibly crosslinked poly(vinyl alcohol)-b-poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) PVOH-b-PNVCL nanogels were prepared by using a redox-responsive crosslinking agent, 3,30-dithiodipropionic acid (DPA), to crosslink ... [more ▼]

Reversibly crosslinked poly(vinyl alcohol)-b-poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) PVOH-b-PNVCL nanogels were prepared by using a redox-responsive crosslinking agent, 3,30-dithiodipropionic acid (DPA), to crosslink the PVOH corona, above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the PNVCL block. The stability of the as-prepared nanogels against heating and diluting with water was studied by dynamic light scattering (DLS) to follow the evolution of the hydrodynamic diameter and size distribution. Stability under reductive conditions was also studied by DLS and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) after exposure to dithiothreitol (DTT) buffer solutions at different pH. The reversibility of the crosslinking was evaluated by treating the de-crosslinked nanogels with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) above the LCST. As a hydrophobic drug model, Nile red (NR) was loaded into the nanogels, and triggered release behaviours were studied after exposure to the same DTT buffer solutions. Moreover, two PVOH-b-PNVCL copolymers with different compositions and LCST were used to evaluate the effect of the LCST on the release behaviours of the nanogels. The cytotoxicity of the nanogels against a mouse fibroblast-like L929 cell line was assessed via the MTS assay, and preliminary studies on cellular uptake of the nanogels within human melanoma MEL-5 cells were also carried out by fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. [less ▲]

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See detailElectrografting onto ITO substrates of poly(thiophene)-based micelles decorated by acrylate groups
Ouhib, Farid ULg; Desbief, Simon; Lazzaroni, Roberto et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2013), 4(15), 4151-4161

We report on a simple process for the chemisorption of poly(thiophene)-based block copolymers onto ITO substrates. Two poly(thiophene) block copolymers functionalized by acrylates on the second block are ... [more ▼]

We report on a simple process for the chemisorption of poly(thiophene)-based block copolymers onto ITO substrates. Two poly(thiophene) block copolymers functionalized by acrylates on the second block are prepared by the Grignard Metathesis (GRIM) process. The first block is composed of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and the second block is either a polythiophene bearing an acrylate group on each monomer unit (PAcET), or a polythiophene bearing both acrylate and poly(ethylene glycol) side chains (P(AcET-co-PEGET)). After characterizing their macromolecular parameters and optical properties, we investigate their ability to self-assemble into micelles in DMF solutions. This solvent is required for the electrografting procedure that is used for strongly anchoring the polymer to ITO. These micelles are expected to be formed by a P3HT core and a PAcET or P(AcET-co-PEGET) shell. When PEG side chains are present in the second block, the copolymer nicely self-assembles into micelles decorated by acrylates. Cathodic polarization of ITO induces chemisorption and polymerization of acrylate groups, leading to an adherent organized film of poly(thiophene)-based micelles. The optical absorption spectra show that the electrografted polymer chains have a degree of π-electron conjugation similar to that of crystalline P3HT films. In the absence of the PEG chains, the copolymer does not organize into micelles, due to the low stabilizing ability of the second block in DMF. [less ▲]

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See detailOne-pot controlled synthesis of double thermoresponsive N-vinylcaprolactam-based copolymers with tunable LCSTs
Kermagoret, Anthony ULg; Fustin, Charles-André; Bourguignon, Maxime et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2013), 4(8), 2575-2583

N-Vinylcaprolactam (NVCL) was copolymerized statistically for the first time in a controlled manner with hydrophilic N-vinylamide or hydrophobic vinylester monomers in order to precisely tune up and down ... [more ▼]

N-Vinylcaprolactam (NVCL) was copolymerized statistically for the first time in a controlled manner with hydrophilic N-vinylamide or hydrophobic vinylester monomers in order to precisely tune up and down the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the resulting copolymers. The incorporation of these segments in complex architectures was also considered. Several narrowly distributed NVCL-based copolymers were prepared by cobalt-mediated radical polymerization (CMRP) using the bis-(acetylacetonato)cobalt(II) complex as a controlling agent and N-methyl-N-vinylacetamide (NMVA), N-vinylacetamide (NVA), vinyl acetate (VAc) or vinyl pivalate (VPi) as comonomers. PNVCL-containing block copolymers having two discrete LCSTs were also synthesized following a one-pot strategy based on the sequential CMRP of NVCL followed by the copolymerization of NMVA with the residual NVCL. Upon gradual heating of aqueous solutions of such double thermoresponsive copolymers, we noticed a transition from free chains to micelles before full dehydration and collapse of the block copolymers. These advances represent a significant step towards the development of a platform based on thermoresponsive PNVCL copolymers with a single phase separation or multistep assembly behaviors. [less ▲]

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See detailpH and redox responsive hydrogels and nanogels made from poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline)
Legros, Camille ULg; De Pauw-Gillet, Marie-Claire ULg; Tam, Kam Chiu et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2013)

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See detailNovel functional degradable block copolymers for the building of reactive micelles
Cajot, Sébastien; Lecomte, Philippe ULg; Jérôme, Christine ULg et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2013), 4(4), 1025-1037

Amphiphilic biocompatible copolymers are promising materials for the elaboration of nanosystems for drug delivery applications. This paper aims at reporting on the synthesis of new functional amphiphilic ... [more ▼]

Amphiphilic biocompatible copolymers are promising materials for the elaboration of nanosystems for drug delivery applications. This paper aims at reporting on the synthesis of new functional amphiphilic copolymers based on biocompatible and bioeliminable blocks. Poly(ethylene oxide) was selected as the hydrophilic block, whereas an aliphatic polyester, i.e. poly(epsilon-caprolactone), or a polycarbonate, i.e. poly(trimethylene carbonate), were chosen as the degradable hydrophobic block. In order to allow a post-functionalization of the micelles core, azide groups were introduced on the hydrophobic segment to provide reactivity towards functional alkyne derivatives by the copper azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC). For this purpose, a functional lactone, i.e. alpha-chloro-epsilon-caprolactone was introduced during the polymerization of the hydrophobic block before being converted into azide on the preformed copolymer. Such reactivity of the block copolymers and their self-assemblies is of prime interest for drugs or fluorescent dyes grafting, so as for micelles cross-linking. The influence of the azides distribution along the degradable block on the micelles post-functionalization ability has been studied by using alkyne bearing fluorescent dyes as model for drugs. The hydrophilicity of the dye on the micelles post-functionalization efficiency has also been investigated. [less ▲]

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See detailSynthesis of poly(vinyl acetate)-b-poly(vinyl chloride) block copolymers by cobalt-mediated radical polymerization (CMRP)
Piette, Yasmine; Debuigne, Antoine ULg; Bodart, Vinent et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2013), 4(5), 1685-1693

The synthesis of poly(vinyl acetate)-b-poly(vinyl chloride) (PVAc-b-PVC) block copolymers by Cobalt-Mediated Radical Polymerization (CMRP) is investigated for the first time in this paper. A PVAc–Co(acac ... [more ▼]

The synthesis of poly(vinyl acetate)-b-poly(vinyl chloride) (PVAc-b-PVC) block copolymers by Cobalt-Mediated Radical Polymerization (CMRP) is investigated for the first time in this paper. A PVAc–Co(acac)2 macroinitiator is prepared by CMRP using the V-70/Co(acac)2 binary system or a preformed alkylcobalt(III) compound. Then, the block copolymerization occurs in the bulk at 40 °C by the addition of VC. The addition of water to the polymerization medium or the slow generation of alkyl radicals during the whole polymerization is beneficial to the process by consuming part of the excess of deactivator (Co(acac)2) that blocks the polymer chains into the dormant form. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements and AFM analyses evidence that the PVAc-b-PVC forms core–shell micelles in a selective solvent of the PVAc block, i.e. methanol, evidencing the blocky structure of the copolymer. PVAc-b-P(VC-co-VAc) copolymers are also successfully prepared by initiating the radical copolymerization of VC and VAc at 40 °C from a PVAc–Co(acac)2 macroinitiator. [less ▲]

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See detailCobalt-mediated radical (co)polymerization of vinyl chloride and vinyl acetate
Piette, Yasmine; Debuigne, Antoine ULg; Jérôme, Christine ULg et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2012), 3(10), 2880-2891

The cobalt mediated radical polymerization (CMRP) of vinyl chloride (VC) in the presence of bis(acetylacetonato)cobalt(II) (Co(acac)2) as a controlling agent is presented for the first time. Using an ... [more ▼]

The cobalt mediated radical polymerization (CMRP) of vinyl chloride (VC) in the presence of bis(acetylacetonato)cobalt(II) (Co(acac)2) as a controlling agent is presented for the first time. Using an alkyl-Co(III) compound (R0–(CH2–CHOAc)<4–Co(acac)2; R0 = (H3C)2(OCH3)C–CH2–C(CH3)(CN)–) as an initiator, the bulk polymerization under non-isotherm conditions is controlled. 1H NMR spectra of the resulting PVC show that the CMRP process does not significantly affect the level of defects compared to a PVC prepared by a conventional free radical polymerization at the same temperature. Using the same alkyl-cobalt(III) compound, the copolymerization of VC and VAc is controlled at 40 °C provided that enough VAc (about 40 mol%) is present in the polymerization medium to moderate the VC polymerization. In line with reactivity ratios, VC is preferentially incorporated in the polymer at the early stages of the polymerization, leading to copolymers with a high VC content at moderate conversions. This is the first report of a CMRP of VC and of the synthesis of well-defined statistical PVC-co-PVAc copolymers by this technique. [less ▲]

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See detailSynthetic and mechanistic inputs of photochemistry into the bisacetylacetonatocobalt- mediated radical polymerization of n-butyl acrylate and vinyl acetate
Detrembleur, Christophe ULg; Versace, Davy-Louis; Piette, Yasmine et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2012), 3(7), 1856-1866

The input of photochemistry to the Co(acac)2 mediated radical polymerization (CMRP) of n-butyl acrylate and vinyl acetate is investigated for the first time. Upon UV irradiation, photoinitiators are able ... [more ▼]

The input of photochemistry to the Co(acac)2 mediated radical polymerization (CMRP) of n-butyl acrylate and vinyl acetate is investigated for the first time. Upon UV irradiation, photoinitiators are able to initiate the n-butyl acrylate polymerization that remains controlled up to very high molar masses (>4 × 106 g mol−1) with low polydispersities. The photoinitiator as well as the irradiation time must be appropriately chosen to reach acceptable initiator efficiencies while maintaining an optimal control over the polymerization. Laser flash photolysis experiments were then carried out to evidence the addition of alkyl and phosphonyl radicals onto Co(acac)2 and to determine the rate constants (kdeact) of these addition reactions that were still lacking. Finally, both kinetics of polymerization and spin-trapping experiments have evidenced that the C–Co bond at the extremity of the dormant polymer chains can be easily photocleaved. UV irradiation can therefore be considered as an additional lever for tuning the reactivity of the CMRP process mediated by Co(acac)2. [less ▲]

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See detailEasy functionalization of amphiphilic poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone) copolymer micelles with unprotected sugar: synthesis and recognition by lectins
Freichels, Hélène; Auzély-Velty, Rachel; Lecomte, Philippe ULg et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2012), 3(6), 1436-1145

This paper aims at reporting the end-functionalization of a PEO block of an amphiphilic α-acetal-PEO-b-PCL copolymer. The acetal end-group, which is the fragment of the initiator used in the EO ... [more ▼]

This paper aims at reporting the end-functionalization of a PEO block of an amphiphilic α-acetal-PEO-b-PCL copolymer. The acetal end-group, which is the fragment of the initiator used in the EO polymerization, was first hydrolyzed into an aldehyde that was then reacted with an amine by reductive amination reaction in water. This two-step derivatization was carried out in one pot. In a preliminary study a model amine, i.e. fluorescein amine, was used and the impact of the composition, thus of the Hydrophilic–Lipophilic Balance (HLB) of the amphiphilic copolymer, was studied. The experimental conditions were extended to the coupling of an aminated mannose to the diblock copolymer. The frozen micelles formed by the mannosylated copolymer proved to form complexes with various lectins as shown by Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) and Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC). [less ▲]

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See detailSynthesis of star and H-shape polymers via a combination of cobalt-mediated radical polymerization and nitrone mediated radical coupling reactions
Detrembleur, Christophe ULg; Debuigne, Antoine ULg; Altintas, Ozcan et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2012), 3(1), 135-147

Via consecutive cobalt-mediated radical polymerization (CMRP), nitrone-mediated radical coupling (NMRC) and copper catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC), polymers with mikto-arm star and H-shape ... [more ▼]

Via consecutive cobalt-mediated radical polymerization (CMRP), nitrone-mediated radical coupling (NMRC) and copper catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC), polymers with mikto-arm star and H-shape architecture were synthesized. Poly(vinyl acetate)40-block-poly(acrylonitrile)78-Co(acac)2 polymers were synthesized via CMRC and subsequently coupled using an alkyne functional nitrone. The coupling efficiency of the NMRC process was assessed employing N-tert-butyl a-phenyl nitrone (PBN), which is structurally very similar to the later employed coupling agent. Generally, coupling efficiencies of close to 90% or higher were observed in all cases. Since the coupling reaction yields triblock copolymers bearing an alkoxyamine functionality (and thus also an alkyne group) in the middle of the chain, well defined PEG conjugates could be obtained via CuAAC. Miktoarm star polymers of the structure (PVAc-b-PAN)2-PEG were generated as well as H-shaped material of the structure (PVAc-b-PAN)2-PEG-(PVAc-b-PAN)2 via conjugation with bifunctional PEG. In all cases, very narrow molecular weight material was obtained. Molecular weight analysis of the intermediate and the final products reveals that the hydrodynamic volume of the miktoarm star and the H-shaped materials is not substantially increased during the final conjugation reaction despite the fact that the absolute molecular weight increases by more than a factor of two in the latter case. Success of the conjugation reactions was confirmed via composition analysis via NMR. [less ▲]

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See detailStealth macromolecular platforms for the design of MRI blood pool contrast agents
Grogna, Mathurin ULg; Cloots, Rudi ULg; Luxen, André ULg et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2011), 2(10), 2316-2327

Stealth macromolecular platforms bearing alkyne groups and poly(ethylene oxide) brushes were synthesized by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The anchoring of Gd3 ... [more ▼]

Stealth macromolecular platforms bearing alkyne groups and poly(ethylene oxide) brushes were synthesized by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The anchoring of Gd3+-chelates bearing an azide group was then carried out by the Huisgen 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition (“click”) reaction in mild conditions, leading to macrocontrast agents for MRI applications. The gadolinium complex is hidden in the PEO shell that renders the macrocontrast agents free of any cytotoxicity and stealth to proteins of the immune system. Relaxometry measurements have evidenced an improved relaxivity of the macrocontrast agent compared to ungrafted gadolinium chelate. Moreover, this relaxivity is further enhanced when the spacer length between the Gd3+-chelate and the polymer backbone is shorter, as the result of its decreased tumbling rate. These novel products are therefore promising candidates for MRI applications. [less ▲]

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See detailPolymer micelles decorated by gadolinium complexes as MRI blood contrast agents: design, synthesis and properties
Grogna, Mathurin ULg; Cloots, Rudi ULg; Luxen, André ULg et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2010), 1

New micellar macrocontrast agents with improved contrast at high frequencies were designed by grafting a gadolinium based contrast agent onto functional stealth micelles formed by poly(ethylene oxide)-b ... [more ▼]

New micellar macrocontrast agents with improved contrast at high frequencies were designed by grafting a gadolinium based contrast agent onto functional stealth micelles formed by poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEO-b-PCL) in water. As evidenced by relaxometry measurements and the hemolytic CH50 test, the new contrast agents are of interest as MRI blood pool agents. [less ▲]

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See detailDispersion nitroxide mediated polymerization of methyl methacrylate in supercritical carbon dioxide using in situ formed stabilizers
Grignard, Bruno ULg; Phan, Tran; Bertin, Denis et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2010), 1(6), 837-840

PMMA microspheres were successfully prepared in supercritical carbon dioxide by controlled dispersion nitroxide mediated polymerization of methyl methacrylate using perfluorinated stabilizers that were ... [more ▼]

PMMA microspheres were successfully prepared in supercritical carbon dioxide by controlled dispersion nitroxide mediated polymerization of methyl methacrylate using perfluorinated stabilizers that were generated “in situ”. [less ▲]

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See detailMacromolecular engineering of lactone-based (co)polymers for biomedical applications
Dubois, Philippe ULg; Grandfils, Christian ULg; Jérôme, Robert ULg et al

in Polymer Chemistry (1991), 32 (1)

Ring-opening polymerization of epsilon-caprolactone and lactides by aluminum alkoxides allows aliphatic polyesters to be tailored at will and fitted to requirements for biomedical applications ... [more ▼]

Ring-opening polymerization of epsilon-caprolactone and lactides by aluminum alkoxides allows aliphatic polyesters to be tailored at will and fitted to requirements for biomedical applications, particularly for controlled drug delivery systems. Variation in molecular weight controls the effective life time of microspheres or implants in vivo. Block copolymerization leads to microphase separated materials and opportunity to modify the overall release kinetics and to get, for instance, a zero-order. Macromonomers and dimacromonomers are ideal precursors for physically and chemically stabilized hydrogels, respectively. Dimacromonomers can actually generate amphiphilic networks. [less ▲]

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