PH-Responsive, Functionalizable Spyrocyclic Polycarbonate: A Versatile Platform for Biocompatible Nanoparticles

Maria C. Arno, Ruairí P. Brannigan, Gina M. Policastro, Matthew L. Becker, Andrew P. Dove*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
467 Downloads (Pure)


Polymeric nanoparticles are widely investigated to enhance the selectivity of therapeutics to targeted sites, as well as to increase circulation lifetime and water solubility of poorly soluble drugs. In contrast to the encapsulation of the cargo into the nanostructures, the conjugation directly to the polymer backbone allows better control on the loading and selective triggered release. In this work we report a simple procedure to create biodegradable polycarbonate graft copolymer nanoparticles via a ring opening polymerization and subsequent postpolymerization modification strategies. The polymer, designed with both pH-responsive acetal linkages and a norbornene group, allows for highly efficient postpolymerization modifications through a range of chemistries to conjugate imaging agents and solubilizing arms to direct self-assembly. To demonstrate the potential of this approach, polycarbonate-based nanoparticles were tested for biocompatibility and their ability to be internalized in A549 and IMR-90 cell lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3427-3434
Number of pages8
Issue number8
Early online date21 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2018


  • ring-opening polymerization
  • functional monomer
  • norbornene
  • pH responsive
  • acetal linker
  • drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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