Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society
An international journal for chemical science
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Star-Shaped Copolymers Based on Poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) and their Use as Nanocarriers of Methotrexate

Norma A. Cortez-Lemus A B and Angel Licea-Claverie A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centro de Graduados e Investigación en Química, Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana, Apartado Postal 1166, Tijuana, Baja California 22000, México.

B Corresponding author. Email: ncortez@tectijuana.mx

Australian Journal of Chemistry - https://doi.org/10.1071/CH17325
Submitted: 13 June 2017  Accepted: 7 July 2017   Published online: 8 August 2017

Abstract

Star-shaped poly(N-vinylcaprolactam)-block-poly(ethylhexylacrylate)-block-polyethylene glycol (PNVCL-b-PEHA-b-PEG) triblock copolymers and star-shaped poly(N-vinylcaprolactam)-block-polyethylene glycol (PNVCL-b-PEG) diblock copolymers were synthesized by reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The resulting star block copolymers were characterized using 1H NMR and UV-vis spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography, and dynamic light scattering. The star-shaped PNVCL-b-PEG and PNVCL-b-PEHA-b-PEG block copolymers self-assemble spontaneously into aggregates in water. The aggregates formed ranged from ~17 to 135 nm in diameter and were used to encapsulate methotrexate (MTX). It was observed that the aggregates from PNVCL-b-PEHA-b-PEG copolymers exhibited a higher drug loading and a lower release of MTX (19 wt-% and 54 %) as compared with star copolymers without PEHA (5 wt-% and 81 %) after 24 h at a temperature below their lower critical solution temperature values.


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