Rapid and versatile construction of diverse and functional nanostructures derived from a polyphosphoester-based biomimetic block copolymer system. Academic Article uri icon


  • A rapid and efficient approach for the preparation and modification of a versatile class of functional polymer nanoparticles has been developed, for which the entire engineering process from small molecules to polymers to nanoparticles bypasses typical slow and inefficient procedures and rather employs a series of steps that capture fully the "click" chemistry concepts that have greatly facilitated the preparation of complex polymer materials over the past decade. The construction of various nanoparticles with functional complexity from a versatile platform is a challenging aim to provide materials for fundamental studies and also optimization toward a diverse range of applications. In this paper, we demonstrate the rapid and facile preparation of a family of nanoparticles with different surface charges and functionalities based on a biodegradable polyphosphoester block copolymer system. From a retrosynthetic point of view, the nonionic, anionic, cationic, and zwitterionic micelles with hydrodynamic diameters between 13 and 21 nm and great size uniformity were quickly formed by suspending, independently, four amphiphilic diblock polyphosphoesters into water, which were functionalized from the same parental hydrophobic-functional AB diblock polyphosphoester by click-type thiol-yne reactions. The well-defined (PDI < 1.2) hydrophobic-functional AB diblock polyphosphoester was synthesized by an ultrafast (<5 min) organocatalyzed ring-opening polymerization in a two-step, one-pot manner with the quantitative conversions of two kinds of cyclic phospholane monomers. The whole programmable process starting from small molecules to nanoparticles could be completed within 6 h, as the most rapid approach for the anionic and nonionic nanoparticles, although the cationic and zwitterionic nanoparticles required ca. 2 days due to purification by dialysis. The micelles showed high biocompatibility, with even the cationic micelles exhibiting a 6-fold lower cytotoxicity toward RAW 264.7 mouse macrophage cells, as compared to the commercial transfection agent Lipofectamine.

published proceedings

  • J Am Chem Soc

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, S., Zou, J., Zhang, F., Elsabahy, M., Felder, S. E., Zhu, J., Pochan, D. J., & Wooley, K. L.

citation count

  • 156

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Shiyi||Zou, Jiong||Zhang, Fuwu||Elsabahy, Mahmoud||Felder, Simcha E||Zhu, Jiahua||Pochan, Darrin J||Wooley, Karen L

publication date

  • November 2012