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Synthesis of Dynamic-Covalent Shell Crosslinkable Core–Shell-Corona Nanoparticles with Boronic Ester Linkages: A Potential Carrier for Drug Delivery

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Dynamic-covalent shell crosslinkable core–shell-corona nanoparticles (DCSCNs) with boronic ester linkages were synthesized employing two macro-RAFT agents of poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide)-b-poly(3-acrylamidophenylboronic acid) trithiocarbonate (PDMA-b-PAPBA-TTC) and poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide)-b-poly(5-Ethyl-2,2-dimethyl-1,3-dioxane-5-yl)methyl acrylate trithiocarbonate (PDMA-b-EDMA-TTC) in dispersion reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization of styrene (St) and subsequent pH stimulation. Polymerization led to the formation of PDMA-b-PEDMA-PS/PDMA-b-PAPBA-PS multicompartment triblock copolymer nanoparticles, in which the PDMA block formed the corona, the mixed PAPBA and PEDMA blocks formed the shell, and the solvophobic PS block formed the core. Since the 1,3-dioxane ring in PEDMA block can be hydrolyzed into diol groups under acidic condition, DCSCNs were prepared due to the dynamic-covalent nature of the boronic ester cross-links between the phenylboronic acid and diol groups. It was found that the DCSCNs were pH-responsive in water. Consequently, under the pH value of 3.8 to 7.0, shell crosslinked core–shell-corona nanoparticles were formed, while when the pH value was above 7.0 or below 3.8, decrosslinking of the shell happened. This kind of DCSCNs had potential application as in vivo delivery of anticancer drugs and gene vectors.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters (NNL) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating nanoscale research activities in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. NNL provides the means for scientists, engineers, medical experts and technocrats to publish original short research articles as communications/letters of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of the physical sciences, engineering and medicine.
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