Real-time 31P NMR reveals different gradient strengths in polyphosphoester copolymers as potential MRI-traceable nanomaterials

Timo Rheinberger, Ulrich Flögel, Olga Koshkina, Frederik R. Wurm*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Polyphosphoesters (PPEs) are used in tissue engineering and drug delivery, as polyelectrolytes, and flame-retardants. Mostly polyphosphates have been investigated but copolymers involving different PPE subclasses have been rarely explored and the reactivity ratios of different cyclic phospholanes have not been reported. We synthesized binary and ternary PPE copolymers using cyclic comonomers, including side-chain phosphonates, phosphates, thiophosphate, and in-chain phosphonates, through organocatalyzed ring-opening copolymerization. Reactivity ratios were determined for all cases, including ternary PPE copolymers, using different nonterminal models. By combining different comonomers and organocatalysts, we created gradient copolymers with adjustable amphiphilicity and microstructure. Reactivity ratios ranging from 0.02 to 44 were observed for different comonomer sets. Statistical ring-opening copolymerization enabled the synthesis of amphiphilic gradient copolymers in a one-pot procedure, exhibiting tunable interfacial and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) properties. These copolymers self-assembled in aqueous solutions, 31 P MRI imaging confirmed their potential as MRI-traceable nanostructures. This systematic study expands the possibilities of PPE-copolymers for drug delivery and theranostics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number182
JournalCommunications Chemistry
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

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