Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Chair and Committee
Karen L. Wooley
The overall emphasis of this dissertation research included two kinds of asymmetrically-functionalized nanoparticles with anisotropic distributions of chemical functionalities, three degradable polymers synthesized by organocatalyzed ring-opening polymerizations, and two polyphosphoester-based nanoparticle systems for various biomedical applications.
Inspired by the many hierarchical assembly processes that afford complex materials in Nature, the construction of asymmetrically-functionalized nanoparticles with efficient surface chemistries and the directional organization of those building blocks into complex structures have attracted much attention. The first method generated a Janus-faced polymer nanoparticle that presented two orthogonally click-reactive surface chemistries, thiol and azido. This robust method involved reactive functional group transfer by templating against gold nanoparticle substrates. The second method produced nanoparticles with sandwich-like distribution of crown ether functionalities through a stepwise self-assembly process that utilized crown ether-ammonium supramolecular interactions to mediate inter-particle association and the local intra-particle phase separation of unlike hydrophobic polymers.
With the goal to improve the efficiency of the production of degradable polymers with tunable chemical and physical properties, a new type of reactive polyphosphoester was synthesized bearing alkynyl groups by an organocatalyzed ring-opening polymerization, the chemical availability of the alkyne groups was investigated by employing "click" type azide-alkyne Huisgen cycloaddition and thiol-yne radical-mediated reactions. Based on this alkyne-functionalized polyphosphoester polymer and its two available "click" type reactions, two degradable nanoparticle systems were developed. To develop the first system, the well defined poly(ethylene oxide)-block-polyphosphester diblock copolymer was transformed into a multifunctional Paclitaxel drug conjugate by densely attaching the polyphosphoester block with azide-functionalized Paclitaxel by azide-alkyne Huisgen cycloaddition. This Paclitaxel drug conjugate provides a powerful platform for combinational cancer therapy and bioimaging due to its ultra-high Paclitaxel loading: > 65 wt%), high water solubility: >6.2 mg/mL for PTX) and easy functionalization. Another polyphosphoester-based nanoparticle system has been developed by a programmable process for the rapid and facile preparation of a family of nanoparticles with different surface charges and functionalities. The non-ionic, anionic, cationic and zwitterionic nanoparticles with hydrodynamic diameters between 13 nm to 21 nm and great size uniformity could be rapidly prepared from small molecules in 6 h or 2 days. The anionic and zwitterionic nanoparticles were designed to load silver ions to treat pulmonary infections, while the cationic nanoparticles are being applied to regulate lung injuries by serving as a degradable iNOS inhibitor conjugates.
In addition, a direct synthesis of acid-labile polyphosphoramidate by organobase-catalyzed ring-opening polymerization and an improved two-step preparation of polyphosphoester ionomer by acid-assisted cleavage of phosphoramidate bonds on polyphosphoramidate were developed. Polyphosphoramidate and polyphosphoester ionomers may be applied to many applications, due to their unique chemical and physical properties.
Zhang, Shiyi, "Rapid, Efficient and Versatile Strategies for Functionally Sophisticated Polymers and Nanoparticles: Degradable Polyphosphoesters and Anisotropic Distribution of Chemical Functionalities" (2013). All Theses and Dissertations (ETDs). 1075.