A facile synthesis of dynamic, shape-changing polymer particles

We herein report a new facile strategy to ellipsoidal block copolymer nanoparticles that exhibit a pH-triggered anistropic swelling profile. In a first step, elongated particles with an axially stacked lamellae structure are selectively prepared by utilizing functional surfactants to control the phase separation of symmetric polystyrene-b-poly(2-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P2VP) in dispersed droplets. In a second step, the dynamic shape change is realized by cross-linking the P2VP domains, thereby connecting glassy PS discs with pH-sensitive hydrogel actuators.

D. Klinger, C. X. Wang, L. A. Connal, D. J. Audus, S. G. Jang, S. Kraemer, K. L. Killops, G. H. Fredrickson, E. J. Kramer, and C. J. Hawker
Angew. Chemie Int. Ed.
Volume: 55
Pages: 7018–7022
Date: April, 2014
ICB Affiliated Authors: Craig J Hawker, Glenn H Fredrickson