Exploiting thermoresponsive polymers to modulate lipophilicity: Interactions with model membranes

Yussif Saaka, Robert C. Deller, Alison Rodger, Matthew I. Gibson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Upon heating above their lower critical solution temperature (LCST) poly[oligo(ethyleneglycol)methacrylate]s (POEGMA) were shown to undergo a shift in their partition coefficient triggering aqueous to organic phase transfer, which indicated their potential to partition into cell membranes upon application of an external stimulus. Fluorescence-based assays indicated that the LCST transition did not induce lysis of model phospholipid vesicles but did promote fusion, as confirmed by dynamic light scattering. Membrane perturbation assays and linear dichroism spectroscopy investigations suggest that POEGMAs above their transition temperatures can interact with, or insert into, membranes. These findings will help develop the application of responsive polymers in drug delivery. The interactions of thermoresponsive poly[oligo(ethyleneglycol)methacrylates] with phospholipid bilayers as the polymers are heated above their lower critical solution temperature (LCST) are studied. Above the LCST, the polymers are lipophilic and can, therefore, insert in lipid bilayers, as probed by a series of complementary assays. This provides insight into the role of "smart" polymers in biotechnological applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-784
Number of pages6
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • biological applications of polymers
  • biopolymers
  • membranes
  • reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (raft)
  • stimuli-responsive polymers


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