ABSTRACT: "Schizophrenic" diblock copolymers containing nonionic and zwitterionic blocks were prepared with well-controlled molecular weights via atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). In this work, we report a systematic study of how morphological changes of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-block-poly(sulfobetaine methacrylate) (PNIPAAm-b-PSBMA) copolymers affect hemocompatibility in human blood solution. The "schizophrenic" behavior of PNIPAAm-b-PSBMA was observed by (1)H NMR, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and turbidity measurement with double morphological transition, exhibiting both lower critical solution temperature (LCST) and upper critical solution temperature (UCST) in aqueous solution. Below the UCST of PSBMA block, micelles were obtained with a core of insoluble PSBMA association and a shell of soluble PNIPAAm, whereas the opposite micelle structure was observed above the LCST of PNIPAAm block. In between the UCST and LCST, unimers with both soluble blocks were detected. Hydrodynamic size of prepared polymers and copolymers is determined to illustrate the correlations between intermolecular nonionic/zwitterionic associations and blood compatibility of PNIPAAm, PNIPAAm-b-PSBMA, and PSBMA suspension in human blood. Human fibrinogen adsorption onto the PNIPAAm-b-PSBMA copolymers from single-protein solutions was measured by DLS to determine the nonfouling stability of copolymer suspension. The new nonfouling nature of PNIPAAm-b-PSBMA copolymers was demonstrated to show extremely high anticoagulant activity and antihemolytic activity in human blood over a wide range of explored temperatures from 4 to 40 °C. The temperature-independent blood compatibility of nonionic/zwitterionic block copolymer along with their schizophrenic phase behavior in aqueous solution suggests their potential in blood-contacting applications.
Biomacromolecules 07/2012; 13(9):2849-58. · 5.48 Impact Factor