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Journal Article

Metallo-Supramolecular Block Copolymer Micelles: Improved Preparation and Characterization


Haase,  Winfried
Department of Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;
Department of Physiology, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Mayer, G., Vogel, V., Lohmeijer, B. G., Gohy, J.-F., van den Broek, J. A., Haase, W., et al. (2004). Metallo-Supramolecular Block Copolymer Micelles: Improved Preparation and Characterization. Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry, 42, 4458-4465. doi:10.1002/pola.20263.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-DB16-2
Micelles prepared from amphiphilic block copolymers in which a poly(styrene) segment is connected to a poly(ethylene oxide) block via a bis-(2,2′:6′,2″-terpyridine-ruthenium) complex have been intensely studied. In most cases, the micelle populations were found to be strongly heterogeneous in size because of massive micelle/micelle aggregation. In the study reported in this article we tried to improve the homogeneity of the micelle population. The variant preparation procedure developed, which is described here, was used to prepare two “protomer”-type micelles: PS20-[Ru]-PEO70 and PS20-[Ru]-PEO375. The dropwise addition of water to a solution of the compounds in dimethylformamide was replaced by the controlled addition of water by a syringe pump. The resulting micelles were characterized by sedimentation velocity and sedimentation equilibrium analyses in an analytical ultracentrifuge and by transmission electron microscopy of negatively stained samples. Sedimentation analysis showed virtually unimodal size distributions, in contrast to the findings on micelles prepared previously. PS20-[Ru]-PEO70 micelles were found to have an average molar mass of 318,000 g/mol (corresponding to 53 protomers per micelle, which is distinctly less than after micelle preparation by the standard method) and an average hydrodynamic diameter (dh) of 18 nm. For PS20-[Ru]-PEO375 micelles, the corresponding values were M = 603,000 g/mol (31 protomers per micelle) and dh = 34 nm. The latter particles were found to be identical to the “equilibrium” micelles prepared in pure water. Both micelle types had a very narrow molar mass distribution but a much broader distribution of s values and thus of hydrodynamic diameters. This indicates a conformational heterogeneity that is stable on the time scale of sedimentation velocity analysis. The findings from electron microscopy were in disagreement with those from the sedimentation analysis both in average micelle diameter and in the width of the distributions, apparently because of imperfections in the staining procedure. The preparation procedure described also may be useful in micelle formation from other types of protomers.