Synthesis, self-assembly and (absence of) protein interactions of poly(glycerol methacrylate)-silicone macro-amphiphiles

Ghislaine Robert-Nicoud, Robert Evans, Cong-Duan Vo, Christopher J. Cadman, Nicola Tirelli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study focuses on the synthesis of amphiphilic block copolymers containing poly(glycerol monomethacrylate) (PGMMA), showing the advantages of a protection/deprotection strategy based on silyl groups. PGMMA blocks were synthesized via ATRP started by a double functional poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) macroinitiator of molecular weight ≈7000 g mol-1. The resulting triblock copolymers were characterized by low polydispersity (generally ≤1.1) and their aggregation concentration in water was essentially dominated by the PDMS block length (critical aggregation concentration substantially invariant for GMMA degree of polymerization ≥30). For GMMA blocks with DP > 50, the self-assembly in water produced 35-50 nm spherical micelles, while shorter hydrophilic chains produced larger aggregates apparently displaying worm-like morphologies. Block copolymers with long GMMA chains (DP ≈ 200) produced particularly stable micellar aggregates, which were then selected for a preliminary assessment of the possibility of adsorption of plasma proteins (albumin and fibrinogen); using diffusion NMR as an analytical technique, no significant adsorption was recorded both on micelles and on soluble PGMMA employed as a control, indicating the possibility of a "stealth" behaviour. This journal is

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3458-3470
Number of pages13
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number12
Early online date3 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2013


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