Tailorable degradation of pH-responsive all polyether micelles: Via copolymerisation with varying acetal groups

Jaeeun Song, Eunbyul Hwang, Yungyeong Lee, L. Palanikumar, Soo Hyung Choi, Ja Hyoung Ryu, Byeong Su Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Smart drug delivery in a site-specific and time-controlled manner is critical for reducing the side effects of the drug while maximizing the therapeutic efficacy. Herein, we describe an efficient approach to control the degradation kinetics of polyether micelles under acidic conditions using random copolymers of functional epoxide monomers bearing different acetal groups. The amphiphilic block copolymers, poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(ethoxyethyl glycidyl ether-co-tetrahydropyranyl glycidyl ether)s (PEG-b-P(EEGE-co-TGE))s, are synthesized by the anionic ring-opening polymerisation of the pH-responsive novel epoxide monomers ethoxyethyl glycidyl ether (EEGE) and tetrahydropyranyl glycidyl ether (TGE) in varying ratios. The random block copolymers are carefully characterized by 1 H NMR, GPC, and DSC and the copolymerisation kinetics are evaluated using in situ 1 H NMR analysis. The critical micelle concentrations, loading efficiencies, and size distributions of the copolymer micelles show a saturation point over a critical TGE ratio. Interestingly, the degradation and subsequent release kinetics of the micelles under acidic conditions are remarkably different when the composition of the acetal groups is varied. The superior biocompatibility coupled with the highly tailorable release kinetics is anticipated to lead to a versatile platform for smart drug delivery systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-592
Number of pages11
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 7

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017R1A2B3012148).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Tailorable degradation of pH-responsive all polyether micelles: Via copolymerisation with varying acetal groups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this