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Biomacromolecules. 2005 Mar-Apr;6(2):994-9.

Synthesis and characterization of biocompatible thermo-responsive gelators based on ABA triblock copolymers.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Sheffield, Brook Hill, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S3 7HF, United Kingdom.


The synthesis of biocompatible, thermo-responsive ABA triblock copolymers in which the outer A blocks comprise poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) and the central B block is poly(2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine) is achieved using atom transfer radical polymerization with a commercially available bifunctional initiator. These novel triblock copolymers are water-soluble in dilute aqueous solution at 20 degrees C and pH 7.4 but form free-standing physical gels at 37 degrees C due to hydrophobic interactions between the poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) blocks. This gelation is reversible, and the gels are believed to contain nanosized micellar domains; this suggests possible applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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