5 years ago

Organic Reaction as a Stimulus for Polymer Phase Separation

Organic Reaction as a Stimulus for Polymer Phase Separation
Kazuki Sada, Masami Naya, Kenta Kokado, Yoshimi Hamano
Molecular design of stimuli-sensitive polymers has been attracting considerable interest of chemists because of their latent ability to achieve smart materials. Heat, light, pH, and chemicals have been often utilized as a stimuli-inducing polymer phase transition from solution to aggregation and vice versa. In this report, as a new trigger for lower critical solution temperature (LCST)-type polymer phase transition, we introduce organic reaction of small organic molecules, not to the polymer chain itself. The addition of the reactant for the “effector”, which can interact with the polymer chain for increasing the compatibility of the polymer chain with the media, caused a polymer phase separation, due to reduction of the solvation ability of the effector to the polymer chain. In other words, decrease of the “effector” concentration induced the polymer phase separation. Within our knowledge, this is the first report to connect a polymer phase separation with organic reaction dynamics. This process will be the first step for the development of artificial allosteric enzyme mimics from a combination of a simple synthetic polymer and a product or reactant in organic reactions.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsmacrolett.7b00315

DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.7b00315

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