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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 26, Number 4
BKCSDE 26(4)
April 20, 2005 

Preparation and Characterizations of Poly(ethylene glycol)-Poly( ε-caprolactone) Block Copolymer Nanoparticles
Changyong Choi, Su Young Chae, Tai-Hyoung Kim, Mi-Kyeong Jang, Chong Su Cho, Jae-Woon Nah*
Poly(ethylene glycol), Poly( ε-caprolactone), Block copolymer, Self-aggregate, Nanoparticle
Diblock copolymers with different poly( ε-caprolactone) (PCL) block lengths were synthesized by ringopening polymerization of ε-caprolactone in the presence of monomethoxy poly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG-OH, MW 2000) as initiator. The self-aggregation behaviors of the diblock copolymer nanoparticle, prepared by the diafiltration method, were investigated by using 1H NMR, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and fluorescence spectroscopy. The PEG-PCL block copolymers formed the nano-sized self-aggregate in an aqueous environment by intrsa- and/or intermolecular association between hydrophobic PCL chains. The critical aggregation concentrations (cac) of the block copolymer self-aggregate became lower with increasing hydrophobic PCL block length. On the other hand, reverse trends of mean hydrodynamic diameters were measured by DLS owing to the increasing bulkiness of the hydrophobic chains and hydrophobic interaction between the PCL microdomains. The hydrodynamic diameters of the block copolymer nanoparticles, measured by DLS, were in the range of 65-270 nm. Furthermore, the size of the nanoparticles was scarcely affected by the concentration of the block copolymers in the range of 0.125-5 mg/mL owing to the negligible interparticular aggregation between the self-aggregated nanoparticles. Considered with the fairly low cac and nanoparticle stability, the PEG-PCL nanoparticles can be considered a potential candidate for biomedical applications such as drug carrier or imaging agent.
523 - 528
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