Stable polymer micelles formed by metal coordination

Wang, J.; Cohen Stuart, M.A.; Marcelis, A.T.M.; Colomb-Delsuc, M.; Otto, S.; Gucht, J. van der


Metal-containing polymer micelles have attracted much attention due to their potential for medical and nanotechnological applications. In this paper, we present a method to prepare stable metal-containing polymer micelles. A diblock copolymer poly(4-vinylpyridine)-b-poly(ethylene oxide) (P4VP48-b-PEO193) with terdendate ligand groups grafted to the PVP block is synthesized. Added metal ions cross-link the ligand-carrying blocks together, while the hydrophilic block stabilizes the formed coordination complex, leading to the formation of micelles. The structure and stability of the formed micelles are investigated by light scattering and cyro-TEM. The strong coordination bonds provide high stability of the micelles: adding salt or EDTA hardly affects the formed micelles.