Intelligent copolymers based on poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) PNIPAm with potential use in biomedical applications. Part i: PNIPAm functionalization with 3-butenoic acid and piperazine

Maria G. Carrero, James J. Posada, Marcos A. Sabino


The synthesis and characterization of the thermosensitive copolymers based on Poly (N-Isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) and 3-butenoic acid and functionalized with piperazine was carried out. The free radical polymerization of the PNIPA copolymer with 3-butenoic acid was performed under microwave radiation. After obtaining this copolymer, the carboxyl groups present in the copolymer chain were activated with 1-ethyl- (3-3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide in the presence of N-hydroxysuccinimide, improving its reactivity to incorporate the piperazine through its amino group. The characterization consisted: differential scanning calorimetric and ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry to determine the LCST phase transition temperature, ranging from (30-35)°C. Structurally it was analyzed by infrared spectroscopy. A morphological analysis was performed using scanning electron microscopy, after simulating an injectable process, with the objective to observe internally the porosity and interconnectivity. The biocompatibility was evaluated through hemocompatibility tests and it was observed that the copolymers obtained were not cytotoxic. In base of the results, the chemical structure of these new copolymers confers a functionality that allows them to serve as nuclei to graft other molecules, such as polysaccharides. Then, the results obtained on the LCST temperature, porosity, interconnected pore network morphology, the ability to be injectable and the biocompatible nature of these copolymers are indicative that these new synthetic biomaterials have the potential to be used in biomedical, pharmacological and for tissue engineering. Also, once their biocompatibility was demonstrate, they may serve to generate interesting compounds having chemical anchor points for the possible addition of polysaccharides using insertion reactions, thereby generating graft copolymers with potential use in biomedical applications.


Poly (N-Isopropylacrylamide); 3-Butenoic Acid; Piperazine, thermosensitive copolymers; LCST Temperature.

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