Predicting monomers for use in aqueous ring-opening metathesis polymerization-induced self-assembly

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Aqueous polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) is a well-established methodology enabling in situ synthesis of polymeric nanoparticles of controllable morphology. Notably, PISA via ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMPISA) is an emerging technology for block copolymer self-assembly, mainly due to its high versatility and robustness. However, a limited number of monomers suitable for core-forming blocks in aqueous ROMPISA have been reported to date. In this work, we identified seven monomers for use as either corona- or core-forming blocks during aqueous ROMPISA by in silico calculation of relative hydrophobicity for corresponding oligomeric models. The predicted monomers were validated experimentally by conducting ROMPISA using our previously reported two-step approach. In addition to predictive data, our computational model was exploited to identify trends between polymer hydrophobicity and the morphology of the self-assembled nano-objects they formed. We expect that this methodology will greatly expand the scope of aqueous ROMPISA, as monomers can be easily identified based on the structure-property relationships observed herein.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-472
Number of pages7
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019