Enzyme-assisted Photoinitiated Polymerization-induced Self-assembly in Continuous Flow Reactors with Oxygen Tolerance


Polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) is an emerging method for the preparation of block copolymer nano-objects at high concentrations. However, most PISA formulations have oxygen inhibition problems and inert atmospheres (e.g. argon, nitrogen) are usually required. Moreover, the large-scale preparation of block copolymer nano-objects at room temperature is challenging. Herein, we report an enzyme-assisted photoinitiated polymerization-induced self-assembly (photo-PISA) in continuous flow reactors with oxygen tolerance. The addition of glucose oxidase (GOx) and glucose into the reaction mixture can consume oxygen efficiently and constantly, allow the flow photo-PISA to be performed under open-air conditions. Polymerization kinetics indicated that only a small amount of GOx (0.5 μmol/L) was needed to achieve the oxygen tolerance. Block copolymer nano-objects with different morphologies can be prepared by varying reaction conditions including the degree of polymerization (DP) of core-forming block, monomer concentration, reaction temperature, and solvent composition. We expect this study will provide a facile platform for the large-scale production of block copolymer nano-objects with different morphologies at room temperature.

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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21971047 and 21504017) and Innovation Project of Education Department in Guangdong (No. 2018KTSCX053). Y.C. acknowledges the support from Guangdong Special Support Program (No. 2017TX04N371). J.T. acknowledges the support from Pearl River Young Scholar of Guangdong.

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Cai, WB., Liu, DD., Chen, Y. et al. Enzyme-assisted Photoinitiated Polymerization-induced Self-assembly in Continuous Flow Reactors with Oxygen Tolerance. Chin J Polym Sci (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10118-021-2533-z

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  • Polymerization-induced self-assembly
  • Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization
  • Photoinitiation
  • Oxygen tolerance