Graft copolymers of carboxymethyl cellulose with N-vinylimidazole: synthesis and application for drug delivery

  • Vyacheslav A. KuznetsovEmail author
  • Andrey V. Sorokin
  • Maria S. Lavlinskaya
  • Alexander A. Sinelnikov
  • Dmitriy V. Bykovskiy
Original Paper


Graft copolymers of sodium salt of carboxymethyl cellulose and N-vinylimidazole with different contents of the latter are synthesized by radical polymerization. Polymerization kinetics for all samples is researched by copolymer composition determination by UV spectroscopy, and it was found that it lasted 180 min. Percent of grafting calculated from FTIR data is in the range 31–59%, which correlated with GPC and static light scattering data. Aqueous solutions of the synthesized copolymers are characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscopy, and zeta potential measurement. It was established that macromolecular particles of all synthesized copolymers possess non-spherical shape and negative electrokinetic potential value. The hydrodynamic radii of the polymer coils are 120–152 nm. It was found by DLS that macromolecular coils of all copolymers are stable in 0.15 M NaCl aqueous solution and in the physiological pH range which allows to apply them as vectors for targeted drug delivery. Interaction between paclitaxel (Ptx) and Na-CMC-g-PVI copolymer was studied by UV spectroscopy, FTIR, and TEM. Copolymer and Ptx complex formation proceeds by interaction of imidazole cycles and methylene backbone of Na-CMC-g-PVI copolymer and C=O groups and aromatic rings of Ptx. In vitro release kinetics was also researched in acidic and neutral media at 38 °C. Particularly, full release of paclitaxel is reached after 144 h. Release process of Ptx from copolymer particles is described by Korsmeyer–Peppas kinetic model and limited by molecular diffusion.


Graft copolymers Carboxymethyl cellulose N-Vinylimidazole Biocompatible polymers Paclitaxel Release kinetics 

List of symbols


Electrokinetic potential


Shear viscosity


Scattering angle








Fast relaxation time


Slow relaxation time




Virial coefficient


Portion of scattered light relating in fast mode


Portion of scattered light relating in slow mode


Anhydrous glucose unit




Concentration of paclitaxel at the start of loading

CPtx, τ

Concentration of paclitaxel at the τ moment


Concentration of synthesized copolymer


Carboxymethyl cellulose


Encapsulation efficiency


Frequency of grafting


Solution optical constant


Zero-order release rate constant


Loading efficiency

mPVI g

Mass of grafted PVI calculated from FTIR data

mPVI t

Theoretical mass of PVI


Diffusional exponent


Sodium salt of carboxymethyl cellulose


Graft copolymer of CMC and N-vinylimidazole


Percent of grafting






Wave vector modulus


Initial level of the drug in the media


Level of the released drug in time τ


Equilibrium level of the released drug


Scattering coefficient at the θ scattering angle


Hydrodynamic radius


Hydrodynamic radius in fast mode


Hydrodynamic radius in slow mode


Radius of gyration


Radius of gyration in fast mode


Radius of gyration in slow mode


Absolute temperature





FTIR, TEM, UV, zeta potential data were obtained with the use of equipment of Centre of Collective Usage of Scientific Equipment of Voronezh State University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vyacheslav A. Kuznetsov
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrey V. Sorokin
    • 1
  • Maria S. Lavlinskaya
    • 1
  • Alexander A. Sinelnikov
    • 2
  • Dmitriy V. Bykovskiy
    • 1
  1. 1.Polymer Science and Colloid Chemistry DepartmentVoronezh State UniversityVoronezhRussia
  2. 2.Center of Collective Use of Scientific EquipmentVoronezh State UniversityVoronezhRussia

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