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pH-Sensitive Smart
Polymeric nanofibers
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The composition of pH sensitive polymeric nanofibers contain pendant acidic ( e.g, carboxylic and sulfonic
Acids) or basic (e.g, ammonium salts) groups that either accept or release protons in response to changes
To environmental pH. Polyacrylic acids, poly(2-ethylacrylic acid), poly(2-propylacrylic acid) and
Polysulphonamides(derivatives of p-aminobenzenesulfonamide) are few examples of polyacids (anionic
polymers). Similarly, poly(N, N-diakyl aminoethyl methacrylates), poly(lysine), poly(ethylenimine), and
Chitosan represent cationic polyelectrolytes. pH sensitive macromolecules dissociate to give polymeric
Ions after dissolving on ionizing solvent. Repulsion between similar charges on the polymeric chains
results in chain expansion when ionized in a suitable solvent. When unionized in the case of a poor solvent
and hydrophobic polymer they collapse into globules and also precipitate from solution.
They interplay between hydrophobic surface energy and electrostatic repulsion between charges dictates
the behavior of the polyelectrolytes. Since the degree of an aqueous medium, smart polymers dramatically
change conformation in response to minute changes in the pH of aqueous environment.
Various works have been performed on PMMA based polymers. Microparticles prepared of poly(methacrylic
Acid-g-ethylene glycol) P(MAA-g-EG) loaded with insulin exhibited unique pH-responsive characteristics in
Which interpolymer complexs were formed in acidic media and dissociated in neutral/basic environments.
Consequently, insulin release from the gel was significantly retarded in acidic media while rapid release
occurred under neutral/basic conditions. Copolymer networks of poly(methacrylic acid)grafted with
Poly(ethylene glycol) with reversible pH-dependent swelling behavior, due to the formation of interpolymer
Complexs between protonated pendant acid groups and the etheric groups on the graft chains, has been
Developed. Gels containing equimolar amounts of MAA/EG exhibited lesser swelling at lower pH. The pH of
The pH of the swelling solution affected the average network mesh size. In vitro release of insulin from
P(MAA-g-EG)gels containing PEG grafts indicated a significant release of insulin as the gel decomplexed.
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Composite membranes from nanoparticles of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-methacrylic acid)of various
NIPAAm:MAA ratios dispersed in a matrix of a hydrophobic polymer have been investigated.
Temperature Responsive Polymeric Fibers
Polymers sensitive to temperature changes are the most studied class of environmentally sensitive polymers as they
have potential applications in the biomedical field. This type of systems exhibit a critical solution temperature
(typically in water) at which the phase of polymer and solution is changed in accordance with their composition.
Those systems exhibiting one phase above certain temperature and phase separation below it possess an upper
critical solution temperature (UCST). On the other hand, Polymer solution that appear as monophasic below a
specific temperature and biphasic above it generally exhibit the so-called lower critical solution temperature(LCST).
LCST are the type of polymers having number of applications. The typical example is poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)
(PNIPAAm)that presents a LCST at 32 in water solution.
Examples thermal responsive poly(4-vinylbenzyl chloride)-block-poly(glycidyl methacrylate)-garft-poly(NIsopropylacrylamide) (PVBC-b-PGMA-g-PNIPAM) nanofibers by the combined technology of reversible additionfragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization atom transfer radical polymerization(ATRP) ,electrospinning, and
“click chemistry”. PVBC-b-PGMA-g-PNIPAM nanofibers exhibit a good resistance to solvents and thermal-responsive
charater to the environment, having a hydrophobic surface at 45 (warer contact angle ~ 140)and having a hydrophilic
surface at 20 (warer contact angle ~30). Below that temperature the polymer is soluble as the hydrophilic interactions,
due to hydrogen bonding, are predominant, whereas a phase separation occurs above the LCST(cloud point) due to
predomination of hydrophobic interactions. LCST values of polymers are found to be controlled by the alkyl group
bound to the nitrogen atom.Other type of temperature sensitivity is based on the intermolecular association as in the
Case of Pluronics or Poloxamers, where hydrophobic associations of PPO blocks lead to the formation of micelle
Structure above CMT(critical micelle temperature).
N-alkylacrylamide monomers are mostly employed to obtain temperature snsitive polymers. These monomers are
Synthesized by nucleophilic substitution reaction of acryl chloride with the suitable amine.
Electrospinning of
nanofiber: An Overview
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In recent years, polymers are processed by various techniques such as drawing(1),tempelate synthesis(2), phase
Separation(3), self-assembly(4), electrospinning(5), etc. to prepare polymernanofibers from micron to nanometer
Scale. The main idea is to bring reduced diameter of polymeric fibers so as to achieve outstanding characteristics
Such as very large surface area to volume ratio, flexibilities in surface functionalities, and superior mechanical
properties.
(1)The drawing-in process is similar to dry spinning. Drawing method can be used to make one to one and very long
Single nanofibers. However, this method is possible only for viscoelastic polymers that can undergo strong
deformations while being cohesive enough to support the stresses developed during pulling. Similarly in the case of
Template synthesis, a nanoporous membrane is used as a template to make nanofiber of solid(a fibril) or hollow(a
tubule) shape. By this method nanometer tubules and fibrils of various raw materials such as electronically
conducting polymers, metals, semiconductors, and carbons can be fabricated. But this method cannot one-by-one
continuous nanofibers.
(2) Phase separation is complex process consists of dissolution, gelatin, and extraction using a different solvent,
freezing, and drying resulting in nanoscale porous foam. This process takes longer time to transfer the solid polymer
into the nano-porous foam.
(3) On the other hand, self-assembly is a process in which individual pre-existing
components organize themselves into desired patterns and functions. However, the self-assembly is also a time
Consuming process similar to that as phase separation/
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INTRODUCTION
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Response to stimulus is the basic principle of living systems. As life is made up of biopolymers such
as carbohydrate, proteins and neuclic acids, functions of the living cells are regulated by these
biopolymers which form the basis around for natural processes. Based on the lessons from nature,
polymer scientists have been designing useful materials that respond to external stimuli such as
light, temperature, PH, chemicals and electric field. Polymeric materials which respond by large
changes due to small changes in the environments are referred as ‘stimuli respond polymers’ or
‘smart polymer’ or ‘intelligent polymers’ or ‘environment sensitive polymer’. Accordingly smart
polymers have promising applications in the biomedical field as delivery systems of therapeutic
agent, tissue engineering scaffolds, cell culture supports, bioseparation devices, sensors or
actuators system. However, the goal of scientists is not only to mimic biological process but also to
create novel species and discover new process. The environmental triggers behind these transitions
could be change in temperature or PH shift, increase in ionic strength, presence of certain metabolic
chemicals, addition of an oppositely charged polymer and magnetic field, and light or radiation
forces have also been reported as stimuli for these polymers. Among the above, pH and
temperature responsive polymers are main focus of polymeric scientists.
Due to the very small diameter (nanometer scale) of the polymeric nanofibers obtained by
electrospinning, the surface area to volume ratio of the fibers is significantly high. Also, the
nonwoven mats formed from such nanofibers have very small pore sizes.
However, the total porosity of the mats will still be very high. Hence, smart polymeric nanofibers can
provide better cell penetration and growth so as to promote cell growth.
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is a Design Digital
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ThemeGallery is a
Design Digital
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mall developed by
Guild Design Inc.
ThemeGallery is a
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mall developed by
Guild Design Inc.
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