The effect of polymer architecture on the nano self-assemblies based on novel comb-shaped amphiphilic poly(allylamine)
Thompson, Colin J.
Uchegbu, Ijeoma F.
Cheng, Woei Ping
Twelve novel poly(allylamine) (PAA)-based, comb-shaped amphiphilic polymers have been developed. Hydrophobic groups of cetyl, palmitoyl and cholesteryl were randomly grafted to PAA and quaternisation was carried out on some modified polymers. Polymers were characterised using H-1 NMR, elemental analysis and differential scanning calorimetry. All polymers formed nano self-assemblies in the aqueous solution with a positive zeta potential and were able to encapsulate a hydrophobic agent, methyl orange, in the core. The critical aggregation concentration (CAC) and the microviscosity were found to be dependent on the polymer hydrophobicity. Being the most hydrophobic polymer, cholesteryl-grafted PAA had the lowest CAC (0.02 mg mL(-1)) and the highest microviscosity. They appeared to form dense nanoparticles and were transformed into novel nanostructures in the presence of free cholesterol. Palmitoyl-grafted polymers formed nanoparticles while cetyl-grafted polymers formed polymeric micelles. The flexibility of cetyl chains possibly resulted in the formation of multicore polymeric micelles.