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Langmuir. 2013 Jun 4;29(22):6746-53. doi: 10.1021/la401008y. Epub 2013 May 22.

Hydrogen-bonding-induced chain folding and vesicular assembly of an amphiphilic polyurethane.

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  • 1Polymer Science Unit, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata 700032, India.


We have reported synthesis and vesicular assembly of a novel amphiphilic polyurethane with hydrophobic backbone and hydrophilic pendant carboxylic acid groups which were periodically grafted to the backbone via a tertiary amine group. In aqueous medium the polymer chain adopted a folded conformation which was stabilized by intrachain H-bonding among the urethane groups. Such a model was supported by concentration and solvent-dependent FT-IR, powder XRD, and urea-mediated "denaturation" experiments. Folded polymer chains further formed vesicular assembly which was probed by dynamic light scattering, TEM, AFM, SEM, and fluorescence microscopic studies, and dye encapsulation experiments. pH-dependent DLS and fluorescence microscopic studies revealed stable polymersome in entire tested pH window of 3.5-11.0. Zeta potential measurements showed a negatively charged surface in basic pH while a charge-neutral surface in neutral and acidic pH. MTT assay with CHO cell line indicated good cell viability.

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