The team synthesised a series of thermoresponsive oligo(ethylene glycol)-grafted polypeptides that can self-assemble into amphiphilic nanoparticles in aqueous solution. These polymers show sharp temperature-dependent phase transitions and the lower critical solution temperature can be adjusted from 22.3 to 74.1 °C by varying the molecular weight, the length of the OEG side chain, the polymer concentration and salt concentration. The polymer nanoparticles are not toxic and the team demonstrated their drug release profiles using doxorubicin as a model drug.
Versatile synthesis of temperature-sensitive polypeptides by click grafting of oligo(ethylene glycol): Yilong Cheng, Chaoliang He, Chunsheng Xiao, Jianxun Ding, Xiuli Zhuang and Xuesi Chen, Polym. Chem., 2011, 2, 2627-2634