Novel amphiphilic triblock copolymer based on PPDO, PCL, and PEG: Synthesis, characterization, and aqueous dispersion

K. C. Remant Bahadur, Shanta Raj Bhattarai, Santosh Aryal, Myung Seob Khil, N. Dharmaraj, Hak Yong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Amphiphilic triblock copolymer, poly(p-dioxanone-co-caprolactone)-block-poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(p-dioxanone-co-caprolactone) (PPDO-co-PCL-b-PEO-b-PPDO-co-PCL) was synthesized by ring opening polymerization (ROP) of p-dioxanone and ε-caprolactone initiated through the hydroxyl end of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) in the presence of stannous 2-ethyl hexanoate [Sn(oct)2] as a catalyst. Polymerization and structural features of the polymers were analyzed by different physicochemical techniques (GPC, 1H NMR, 13C NMR, FT-IR, DSC and TGA). The splitting of 1H NMR resonance at δ 2.3 and δ 4.1 ppm reveals the random copolymerization. Polymeric nanoparticles were prepared in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4) by co-solvent evaporation technique at room temperature (25 °C). Existence of hydrophobic domains as cores of the micelles were characterized by 1H NMR spectroscopy and further confirmed with fluorescence technique using pyrene as a probe. Critical micelle concentration (CMC) of the polymer in phosphate buffer (pH. 7.4) was decreased from 2.3 × 10-3 to 7.6 × 10-4 g/L with the fraction of PCL. Polymeric nanoparticles observed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) were uniform and spherical, with smooth textured of around 50-30 nm diameter. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and electrophoretic light scattering (ELS) measurements showed a monodisperse size distribution of around 113-90 nm hydrodynamic diameters and negative zeta (ζ) potential (-4 to -14 mV), respectively. The investigations for the polymeric nanoparticles in aqueous medium showed that the composition of the hydrophobic segment of amphiphilic block copolymer makes a significant influence on its physicochemical characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 2007


  • Biomaterials
  • Block copolymers
  • Micelles
  • Nanoparticles
  • Self-assembled

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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