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Facile access to cytocompatible multicompartment micelles with adjustable Janus-cores from A-block-B-graft-C terpolymers prepared by combination of ROP and ATRP

Wang, Weiwei, Zhang, Ju, Li, Chen, Huang, Pingsheng, Gao, Shan, Han, Shangcong, Dong, Anjie, Kong, Deling
Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 2014 v.115 pp. 302-309
X-ray diffraction, cell viability, chemical elements, colloids, differential scanning calorimetry, fibroblasts, gel chromatography, humans, hydrophobicity, leukemia, mice, micelles, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, perfluorocarbons, polyethylene glycol, polymerization, thermodynamics, transmission electron microscopy
The architecture of hydrophobic segments can determine the specific morphology of multicompartment micelles (MCMs) that are generated from aqueous assembly of amphiphilic terpolymers. In this study, we aimed to design and generate poly(ɛ-caprolactone)-based multicompartment micelles with adjustable Janus-cores. Well-defined terpolymers with a novel A-block-B-graft-C architecture composed of biologically compatible polymers, methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), poly(ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(2-(perfluorobutyl)ethyl methacrylate) (PPFEMA), were prepared by the stepwise use of ring-opening polymerization and atom transfer radical polymerization. Characterization of the obtained terpolymers was carried out by 1H NMR and gel permeation chromatography. Results from differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction studies indicated that within the terpolymer structure, the PCL segments are in the crystalline state, while fluorocarbon segments belong to the amorphous domains. Due to the thermodynamic incompatibility of PCL and PPFEMA, MCMs could be obtained upon aqueous self-assembly of the terpolymer. The well-segregated Janus-cores with adjustable compartment balance were revealed by transmission electron microscopy. In vitro cell viability assays further demonstrated an excellent cytocompatibility of the MCMs both in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (3T3) and human acute monocytic leukemia (THP-1) cells.