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J Polym Sci A Polym Chem. 2012 Mar 1;50(5):890-899.

A series of poly[N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide] copolymers with anthracene-derived fluorophores showing aggregation-induced emission properties for bioimaging.

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Center for Biosignatures Discovery Automation, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA.


A series of new poly[N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide]-based amphiphilic copolymers were synthesized through a radical copolymerization of a monomeric/hydrophobic fluorophore possessing aggregation-induced emission (AIE) property with N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide. Photophysical properties were investigated using UV-Vis absorbance and fluorescence spectrophotometry. Influences of the polymer structures with different molar ratios of the AIE fluorophores on their photophysical properties were studied. Results show that the AIE fluorophores aggregate in the cores of the micelles formed from the amphiphilic random copolymers and polymers with more hydrophobic AIE fluorophores facilitate stronger aggregations of the AIE segments to obtain higher quantum efficiencies. The polymers reported herein have good water solubility, enabling the application of hydrophobic AIE materials in biological conditions. The polymers were endocytosed by two experimental cell lines, human brain glioblastoma U87MG cells and human esophagus premalignant CP-A, with a distribution into the cytoplasm. The polymers are non-cytotoxic to the two cell lines at a polymer concentration of 1 mg/mL.

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