Preparation of Thermo- and pH-Responsive Microgels Based on Complementary Nucleobase Molecular Recognition

Jiasheng Pan, Xin Wen, Mu Wang, Jun Li, Xiangyu Li, Anchao Feng, Liqun Zhang, San H. Thang

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Complementary interactions between the natural nucleobases is one of the important ways of biomolecular recognition. Although scientists have introduced such supramolecular noncovalent interactions into biomimetic materials through different approaches in recent years, further research is still needed to confer structural features of biomolecules into emerging stimuli-responsive microgels. In this study, a series of bis-thymine end decorated flexible poly (N-isopropyl acrylamide) (T-PNIPAM-T) are obtained through a thymine esterified RAFT agent. Meanwhile, a rigid polymeric backbone poly[1-(4-vinyl benzyl)] adenine (PSA), including several pendant adenines on the side chain is prepared. Through nucleobase complementary pairing subtle supramolecular cross-linked 3D networks are constructed, and further self-assembled to form microgels under the balance between hydrophilicity and block flexibility. More importantly, such supramolecular 3D microgels show volumetric shrinkage in different water content environments and the assembly behavior under thermo and pH stimulated conditions. This exploration is expected to play an important value and significance in the field of biomimetic controlled release of soft matter in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2200239
Number of pages9
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • base complementary pairing
  • reversible additionfragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization
  • stimulus-responsive microgels
  • supramolecular self-assembly

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