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Title: Temperature-responsive polymer cubosomes from semi-crystalline amphiphilic block copolymers
Author: McKenzie, Beulah E.
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2011
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Amphiphilic block copolymers self-assemble in water to form discrete aggregates of different morphologies so as to minimize the interaction of the hydrophobic moiety with the surrounding aqueous medium. The most commonly observed morphologies are spherical micelles, cylindrical micelles and vesicles; however, more complex morphologies such as disk-like micelles, toroids and internally-structured nanospheres are becoming more frequently observed and targeted in synthesis. The type of morphology formed is fundamentally dependent upon the block copolymer composition and structure, and so the synthesis of well-defined block copolymers is a necessity for the production of designer nanoparticles. To this end, controlledl"living" polymerization techniques are utilized to yield block copolymers with well-defined structure and functionality, and the synthesis of stimuli-responsive block copolymers allows for the formation of smart aggregates. This work presents the formation of nanospheres with complex internal structure from semi-crystalline amphiphilic block copolymers of poly( ethylene oxide) and poly( octadecyl methacrylate). The block copolymers were synthesized using atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) to enable control over the relative compositions and molecular weight. Aqueous dispersions of the block copolymers yielded complex polymer cubosomes: nanospheres with internal bicontinuous morphology. The internal structure was investigated and characterized using microscopy techniques and the. effects of block composition and preparation conditions on the morphology were investigated. The nanospheres exhibited temperature-responsive behaviour which stemmed from the hydrophobic PODMA block. The internal structure and thermal behaviour of these aggregates provide the possibility of their application as a temperature-controlled delivery system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available