Author(s): Casolaro M, Bottari S, Cappelli A, Mendichi R, Ito Y
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Abstract Amphiphilic vinyl polymers (in the free and cross-linked forms), carrying carboxyl and imidazole groups, were prepared by a radical polymerization of the purposely synthesized N-acryloyl-L-histidine. The protonation thermodynamic studies (at 25 degrees C in 0.15 M NaCl) showed high polyelectrolyte character of the soluble polymer. Unlike the linear decreasing trend of the basicity constant, over the whole range of alpha (degree of protonation), the enthalpy changes for the protonation of the imidazole nitrogen in the polymer showed a decreasing pattern only at alpha > 0.5. This was ascribed to the formation of hydrogen bonds between protonated and free neighboring monomer units. Viscometric data revealed a minimum hydrodynamic volume of the polymer at its isoelectric point (pH 5), whereas at higher or lower pHs, the macromolecule expanded greatly as a consequence of the charged sites formation. This produced a preferential solvation of the protonated imidazole and carboxylate ions, the latter being surrounded by more water molecules in the hydration shell. The peculiar hydration behavior was confirmed in the cross-linked polymer. The hydrogel showed an equilibrium degree of swelling (EDS), strongly dependent on pH, in a similar manner as viscometric data of the soluble polymer. A linear relationship between the reduced viscosity and the EDS was found. The polymer was non toxic against the RAW264 cell line.
This article was published in Biomacromolecules
and referenced in Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Devices