Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Gregg Wilmes, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Donald Snyder, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jamie Scaglione, Ph.D.


Acrylate-based amphiphilic diblock copolymers show great potential for anti-cancer drug transport due to their ability to aggregate into protective core-shell micelles. Using RAFT polymerization, copolymers containing poly(acrylic acid) and poly(methyl acrylate) blocks were made with high monomer conversion and narrow distributions of molecular weight for eventual use in medicinal applications. Based on previous findings of copolymers with low weight hydrophobic blocks failing to micellize, it was hypothesized that increasing the poly(methyl acrylate) block length would allow for micelle formation. 1H-NMR experiments conducted in the presence of an aqueous solution yielded diminished and broadened resonances of the lengthened hydrophobic block, which confirmed effects of micellization. As a result, a rigid hydrophobic core may be substituted with a longer flexible acrylate block for biological use. The adoption of longer core chain lengths in a micellar system may be useful in other transport applications when precipitation of drugs in vivo remains an issue.

Included in

Chemistry Commons