Acid-Responsive Poly(glyoxylate) Self-Immolative Star Polymers

Changhe Zhang, Sarah Kermaniyan, Samuel A. Smith, Elizabeth R. Gillies, Georgina K. Such

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Self-immolative polymers have significant potential for applications such as drug or gene delivery. However, to realize this potential, such materials need to be customized to respond to specific variations in biological conditions. In this work, we investigated the design of new star-shaped self-immolative poly(ethyl glyoxylate)s (PEtGs) and their incorporation into responsive nanoparticles. PEtGs are a subclass of stimulus-responsive self-immolative polymers, which can be combined with different stimuli-responsive functionalities. Two different tetrathiol initiators were used for the polymerization in combination with a variety of potential pH-responsive end-caps, yielding a library of star PEtG polymers which were responsive to pH. Characterization of the depolymerization behavior of the polymers showed that the depolymerization rate was controlled by the end caps rather than the architecture of the polymer. A selection of the star polymers were modified with amines to allow introduction of charge-shifting properties. It was shown that pH-responsive nanoparticles could be prepared from these modified polymers and they demonstrated pH-dependent particle disruption. The pH responsiveness of these particles was studied by dynamic light scattering and1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3892-3900
Number of pages9
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes

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