Polymer Science

Photo Cleavable Thioacetal Block Copolymers for Controlled Release



We present a new light cleavable polymer containing o-nitrobenzene thioacetal groups in the main chain. By conjugation to a PEG block, we synthesized block copolymers capable of forming nanoparticles in aqueous solution. We studied drug encapsulation and release using the model drug Nile Red. Irradiation with UV-A light (365 nm) leads to efficient degradation of the polymers and associated burst release of the payload. Unlike other thioacetal and thioketal polymers, these polymers are stable to reactive oxygen species (ROS), preventing non-triggered release. Moreover, the nanocarriers showed low cytotoxicity in cell viability experiments.

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