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Assembly and degradation of low-fouling click-functionalized poly(ethylene glycol)-based multilayer films and capsules

: Leung, M.K.M.; Such, G.K.; Johnston, A.P.R.; Biswas, D.P.; Zhu, Z.; Yan, Y.; Lutz, J.-F.; Caruso, F.


Small 7 (2011), No.8, pp.1075-1085
ISSN: 1613-6810
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAP ()

Nano-/micrometer-scaled films and capsules made of low-fouling materials such as poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) are of interest for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications. Herein, the assembly and degradation of low-fouling, alkyne-functionalized PEG (PEGAlk) multilayer films and capsules, which are prepared by combining layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly and click chemistry, are reported. A nonlinear, temperature-responsive PEGAlk is synthesized, and is then used to form hydrogen-bonded multilayers with poly(methacrylic acid) (PMA) at pH 5. The thermoresponsive behavior of PEG Alk is exploited to tailor film buildup by adjusting the assembly conditions. Using alkyne-azide click chemistry, PEGAlk/PMA multilayers are crosslinked with a bisazide linker that contains a disulfide bond, rendering these films and capsules redox-responsive. At pH 7, by disrupting the hydrogen bonding between the polymers, PEGAlk LbL films and PEGAlk-based capsules are obtained. These films exhibit specific deconstruction properties under simulated intracellular reducing conditions, but remain stable at physiological pH, suggesting potential applications in controlled drug release. The low-fouling properties of the PEG films are confirmed by incubation with human serum and a blood clot. Additionally, these capsules showed negligible toxicity to human cells.