Preparation and Functionalization of Macromolecule-Metal and Metal Oxide Nanocomplexes for Biomedical Applications
Copolymer-cobalt complexes have been formed by thermolysis of dicobalt octacarbonyl in solutions of copolysiloxanes. The copolysiloxane-cobalt complexes formed from toluene solutions of PDMS-b-[PMVS-co-PMTMS] block copolymers were annealed at 600-700 °C under nitrogen to form protective siliceous shells around the nanoparticles. Magnetic measurements after aging for several months in both air and in water suggest that the ceramic coatings do protect the cobalt against oxidation. However, after mechanical grinding, oxidation occurs. The specific saturation magnetization of the siliceous-cobalt nanoparticles increased substantially as a function of annealing temperature, and they have high magnetic moments for particles of this size of 60 emu g⁻¹ Co after heat-treatment at temperatures above 600 °C. The siliceous-cobalt nanoparticles can be re-functionalized with aminopropyltrimethoxysilane by condensing the coupling agent onto the nanoparticle surfaces in anhydrous, refluxing toluene. The concentration of primary amine obtained on the surfaces is in reasonable agreement with the charged concentrations. The surface amine groups can initiate L-lactide and the biodegradable polymer, poly(L-lactide), can be polymerized directly from the surface. The protected cobalt surface can also be re-functionalized with poly(dimethylsiloxane) and poly(ethylene oxide-co-propylene oxide) providing increased versatility for reacting polymers and functional groups onto the siliceous-cobalt nanoparticles.Phthalonitrile containing graft copolysiloxanes were synthesized and investigated as enhanced oxygen impermeable shell precursors for cobalt nanoparticles. The siloxane provided a silica precursor whereas the phthalonitrile provided a graphitic precursor. After pyrolysis, the surfaces were silicon rich and the complexes exhibited a substantial increase in Ms. Early aging data suggests that these complexes are oxidatively stable in air after mechanical grinding. Aqueous dispersions of macromolecule-magnetite complexes are desirable for biomedical applications. A series of vinylsilylpropanol initiators, where the vinyl groups vary from one to three, were prepared and utilized for the synthesis of heterobifunctional poly(ethylene oxide) oligomers with a free hydroxy group on one end and one to three vinylsilyl groups on the other end. The oligomers were further modified with carboxylic acids via ene-thiol addition reactions while preserving the hydroxyl functionality at the opposite terminus. The resulting carboxylic acid heterobifunctional PEO are currently being investigated as possible dispersion stabilizers for magnetite in aqueous media.