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Langmuir. 2010 Jun 1;26(11):8875-81. doi: 10.1021/la9046275.

Construction and application of a pH-sensitive nanoreactor via a double-hydrophilic multiarm hyperbranched polymer.

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School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China.


A double-hydrophilic multiarm hyperbranched polymer with a hyperbranched poly(amidoamine) (HPAMAM) core and many poly(ethylene glycol) monomethyl ether (MPEG) arms connected by pH-sensitive acylhydrazone bonds (HPAMAM-g-MPEG) was successfully prepared. Benefiting from the cationic dendritic core and PEGylation shell, the double-hydrophilic multiarm hyperbranched polymer was used as a nanoreactor for CdS quantum dots (CdS QDs) synthesis in aqueous solution. The obtained HPAMAM-g-MPEG and CdS/HPAMAM-g-MPEG nanocomposites were carefully characterized by (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), ultraviolet-visible absorption spectroscopy (UV-vis), fluorescence spectroscopy (FL), dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), selected area electron diffraction (SAED), and electronic dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis. Both (1)H NMR and fluorescence spectroscopy investigations confirmed that the acylhydrazone linkage between the dendritic core and linear arms was readily broken under acidic condition (pH <5.5). When MPEG arms departed from the HPAMAM core, the fluorescence intensity of CdS/HPAMAM-g-MPEG nanocomposites greatly increased. Such pH-responsive behavior of CdS/HPAMAM-g-MPEG nanocomposites was utilized as an exploration of a novel fluorescence probe in an acidic lysosome exemplified by COS-7 cells.

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