DOI: 10.3390/polym15173587 ISSN:

Aggregation of Thermoresponsive Polymethacrylates in a Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium and Its Salts

Łukasz Otulakowski, Barbara Trzebicka
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • General Chemistry

The thermal behavior and aggregation process of the poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide), poly[oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate], and poly[(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)-co-oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate] thermoresponsive polymers were studied in a commonly used Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM) cell culture medium and solutions of its individual components in the same concentration as found in DMEM. All studied copolymers exhibited an unexpected transmittance profile in the DMEM. During heating above the cloud point temperature (TCP), the polymers additionally aggregated, which led to the formation of their precipitates. The behavior of the polymers was further studied to evaluate how individual salts affected the transition temperature, size (Dh), and stability of the polymer particles. Organic additives, such as amino acids and glucose, had a significantly lesser impact on the thermoresponsive aggregation of the polymers than inorganic ones. Changes to the TCP were small and the formation of precipitates was not observed. The presence of small amounts of amino acids caused a decrease in the polymer aggregate sizes. Obtained results are of utmost importance in thermoresponsive drug nanocarrier studies.

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