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Synthesis of Amphiphilic Block Copolymers for Use in Biomedical Applications
Carmichael-Baranauskas, Anita Yvonne
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The research presented in this thesis focuses on the synthesis of three amphiphilic block copolymer systems containing poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) blocks. The polymer systems were developed for use in biomedical applications. The first of these is a series of poly(ethylene oxide-bÂ¬-oxazoline) (PEO-b-POX) diblock copolymers for use in the progress towards novel non-viral gene transfer vectors. Poly(ethylene oxide-bÂ¬-2-ethyl-2-oxazoline) (PEO-b-PEOX) and poly(ethylene oxide-bÂ¬-2-methyl-2-oxazoline) (PEO-b-PMOX) were investigated. The PEOX block was hydrolyzed with acid to form linear polyethylenimine (L-PEI). The polycation L-PEI is well known for its DNA binding efficiency but the water solubility of the resulting DNA/polymer complex is limited. Addition of a PEO block is directed towards the formation of a water dispersible DNA/copolymer complex. Dynamic light scattering of the PEO-b-PEOX and PEO-b-PEI block copolymers indicated that both systems existed as single chains in aqueous solution at pH 7. PEO copolymers also play a significant role in the formation of magnetic magnetite nanoparticles, which are dispersible in water at biological pH (pH =7). There is significant interest in the design of magnetic nanoparticle fluids for biomedical applications including magnetic field-directed drug delivery, magnetic cell separations, and blood purification. For use in vivo, the magnetite nanoparticles must be coated with biocompatible materials. Such polymers render the nanoparticles dispersible in water. Harris1 et al. synthesized PEO based, polyurethane triblocks with pendant carboxylic acid groups for use in formation of stable aqueous magnetic fluids. Building from this work, two polyurethane and polyurethaneurea systems were synthesized with 1300 g/mol PEOX and 2500 g/mol and PEOX2070 g/mol poly(ethylene oxide-co-propylene oxide) tailblocks, respectively. The PEO/PPO random copolymer contained about 25 weight percent PPO, and this disrupted the capacity of the PEO to crystallize. The PEOX based urethane triblocks were synthesized through reacting the tailblocks with the monomers for the center block whereas the PEO/PPO based polyurethaneurea was synthesized through forming the central urethane block with pendant acid groups first and then terminating the copolymer with the monofunctional copolymer. Terminal amine groups on the PEO/PPO tailblock afforded a triblock linked with two urea groups. The new polyurethanes with the PEOX tailblocks and the new polyurethaneurea with the PEO/PPO tailblocks could be utilized to efficiently stabilize magnetite nanoparticles in water.
- Masters Theses