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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 723492, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/723492
Research Article

Efficient Synthesis of Single-Chain Polymer Nanoparticles via Amide Formation

1Centro de Física de Materiales (CSIC, UPV/EHU), Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal 5, 20018 San Sebastián, Spain
2Departamento de Física de Materiales, Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU), Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal 3, 20018 San Sebastián, Spain
3IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, María Díaz de Haro 3, 48013 Bilbao, Spain

Received 8 December 2014; Accepted 27 January 2015

Academic Editor: Sheng-Rui Jian

Copyright © 2015 Ana Sanchez-Sanchez and José A. Pomposo. 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.

Abstract

Single-chain technology (SCT) allows the transformation of individual polymer chains to folded/collapsed unimolecular soft nanoparticles. In this work we contribute to the enlargement of the SCT toolbox by demonstrating the efficient synthesis of single-chain polymer nanoparticles (SCNPs) via intrachain amide formation. In particular, we exploit cross-linking between active methylene groups and isocyanate moieties as powerful “click” chemistry driving force for SCNP construction. By employing poly(methyl methacrylate)- (PMMA-) based copolymers bearing β-ketoester units distributed randomly along the copolymer chains and bifunctional isocyanate cross-linkers, SCNPs were successfully synthesized at r.t. under appropriate reaction conditions. Characterization of the resulting SCNPs was carried out by means of a combination of techniques including size exclusion chromatography (SEC), infrared (IR) spectroscopy, proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and elemental analysis (EA).