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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013, Article ID 719168, 6 pages
Research Article

pH Responsive Self-Assembly of Cucurbit[7]urils and Polystyrene-Block-Polyvinylpyridine Micelles for Hydrophobic Drug Delivery

Controlled Release and Delivery Lab, Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia

Received 25 June 2013; Revised 7 September 2013; Accepted 9 September 2013

Academic Editor: Haifeng Chen

Copyright © 2013 Basem A. Moosa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polystyrene-block-polyvinylpyridine (PS-b-P4VP) polypseudorotaxanes with cucurbit[7]urils (CB[7]) were prepared from water soluble PS-b-P4VPH+ polymer and CB[7] in aqueous solution at room temperature. At acidic and neutral pH, the pyridinium block of PS-b-P4VP is protonated (PS-b-P4VPH+) pushing CB[7] to preferably host the P4VP block. At basic pH (pH 8), P4VP is not charged and thus is not able to strongly complex CB[7]. This phenomenon was verified further by monitoring the release of pyrene, a hydrophobic cargo model, from a PS-b-P4VPH+/CB[7] micellar membrane. Release study of UV active pyrene from the membrane at different pH values revealed that the system is only operational under basic conditions and that the host-guest interaction of CB[7] with P4VPH+ significantly slows down cargo release.