Amphiphilic copolymers (i.e. polymers that contain both hydrophilic and hydrophobic components) have a vast variety of applications, such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, emulsifiers and demulsifiers. A well-known amphiphilic family of polymers is the Pluronic family® which have been used as stabilisers, defoaming agents, binders, and gelling agents in cosmetics, medicine agriculture, dental bleaching and the textile and food industries. However, in some cases, the gelling and rheological properties of the commercially available polymers are not optimised. Some of the polymers (Pluronic® family) can form non-stable gels and fail the clinical trials after body injection in the application of replacing damage issue.
Thus, a new novel block copolymer comprising at least three blocks using a commercial manufacturing method called Group Transfer Polymerisation (GTP) has been invented by researchers at Imperial College London. The advantage these polymers, over current commercial alternatives, is that they play a critical role in influencing the rheological and thermogelling properties of polymer solutions and the formation of gels at lower concentrations. In order to satisfy customers' needs, a range of polymers could be obtained by varying the polymer characteristics independently, including: molar mass, composition and architecture.
- Easy scale-up and cheap preparation method
- Excellent rheological and thermogelling properties
- Cost-effective, low production cost, enable form gel at lower concentrations than any other synthetic polymer in the commercial market
- “Tailored” properties: Molar mass, composition and architecture. High flexibility of changing properties to satisfy customers’ need
Polymers: International application number PCT/GB2019/052686
Reader in Polymer Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Materials
Dr Anna Constantinou
Research Associate at Imperial College London
+44 (0)20 7594 6893