One-pot synthesis of micron-sized polybetaine particles: innovative use of supercritical carbon dioxide

Bassett, Simon P. and Birkin, Natasha A. and Jennings, James and Champman, Emma and O'Reilly, Rachel K. and Howdle, Steven M. and Willcock, Helen (2017) One-pot synthesis of micron-sized polybetaine particles: innovative use of supercritical carbon dioxide. Polymer Chemistry, 8 . pp. 4557-4564. ISSN 1759-9962

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Polybetaines exhibit unique properties combining anti-polyelectrolyte and low protein fouling behaviour, as well as biocompatibility. To date, the synthesis of polybetaine particles >50 nm has proved to be extremely challenging with standard emulsion and dispersion techniques being unsuccessful. Here we present the first reported synthesis of micron-sized, discrete cross-linked polybetaine particles, using polymerisation in scCO2 with methanol as a co-solvent. Discrete particles are produced only when the methanol is efficiently removed in situ using scCO2 extraction. A relatively high crosslinking agent initial concentration (10 wt%) was found to result in the most well defined particles, and particle integrity reduced as the crosslinking agent initial concentration was decreased. A monomer loading of between 3.0 × 10−2 mol L−1 and 1.8 × 10−1 mol L−1 resulted in discrete micron sized particles, with significant agglomoration occuring as the monomer loading was increased further. A spherical morphology and extremely low size dispersity was observed by SEM analysis for the optimised particles. The particles were readily re-dispersed in aqueous solution and light scattering measurements confirmed their low size dispersity.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Chemistry
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Depositing User: Smith, Ruth
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2017 10:42
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2018 18:45

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