Semana de Nanotecnología 2015

25 al 29 de Mayo de 2015

"Amphiphilic block copolymers: An exciting type of nanomaterial"

Pablo Taboada Antelo
Grupo de Física de Coloides y Polímeros
Facultad de Física
Universidad de Santiago de Compostela.



Block copolymers consisting of two or more chemically different components are able to self-assemble into various ordered nanostructures either in the bulk or in solution, such as spheres, cylinders, gyroids and lamellae due to the incompatibility of the constituent blocks. These nanostructures then provide various shapes and material properties for applications in different fields such as nanolithography and templating, nanomedicine, emulsification and so on. In particular, amphiphilic block copolymers have arisen as an important class of materials due to both i) the special features which provide the hydrophilic block, usually polyethylene oxide, PEO (or PEG, polythyelene glycol): it confers solubility, it is biocompatible, provides steric stabilization and confers enhanced blood circulation time, its crystallization influences the structure and properties of the resulting nanostructures, it presents reduction and stabilization capabilities, etc; and ii) to the wide range of available block copolymer architectures and block compositions to generate new nanostructures or get better performance for different applications.

In this talk, we will make a brief review on the main characteristics and properties of amphiphilic block copolymers, with a special emphasis on the work developed during last years by the Colloids and Polymers Physics Group of the University of Santiago de Compostela on the physico-chemical characterization of amphiphilic block copolymers and their potential applications in different areas, for example, as responsive-drug delivery agents and/or multifunctional nanovectors), as nanoreactors/reductants and stabilizing agents of nanoparticles, and as templating agents for the construction or ordered 2D assemblies for (bio)sensing.