A methyl methacrylate-HEMA-CLn copolymerization investigation: From kinetics to bioapplications

Raffaele Ferrari, Thomas R. Rooney, Monica Lupi, Paolo Ubezio, Robin A. Hutchinson, Davide Moscatelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The radical copolymerization kinetics of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and poly-ε{lunate}-caprolactone macromonomer functionalized with a vinyl end group (HEMA-CLn) is studied using a pulsed-laser technique. The reactivity ratios for this system are near unity, while a linear relationship between kp,cop, the copolymer-averaged propagation rate coefficient, and the composition of macromonomer in the feed (0-80wt% range) is determined. At 50wt% macromonomer in the feed, a 1.67±0.02 and 1.64±0.06 increase in kp,cop/kp,MMA is determined for HEMA-CL3 and HEMA-CL2, respectively. These macromonomers are adopted to synthesize nanoparticles (NPs) in the range of 100-150nm through batch emulsion free radical polymerization (BEP) to produce partially degradable drug delivery carriers. The produced NPs are tested in 4T1 cell line and show excellent characteristics as carriers: they do not affect cell proliferation, and a relevant number of NPs, thousands per cell, are internalized. Radical copolymerization kinetics of MMA and HEMA-CLn are studied using the PLP-SEC technique. The potential bioapplication of the system is investigated through the synthesis of copolymer NPs by emulsion polymerization. The NPs produced are tested in the 4T1 cell line and exhibit excellent characteristics as carriers, with low cytotoxicity and high uptake into cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1347-1357
Number of pages11
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Caprolactone
  • Endocytosis
  • Methyl methacrylate
  • Nanoparticles
  • Pulsed laser polymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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