In our search, we found an interesting new class of helical thermoresponsive polymers. This work is now published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition and is now online. Check it out here!
Abstract: The thermoresponsive behavior of an elastin-based polymer can be altered by the polymeric macromolecular conformation. Thus, when the elastin basic amino acid sequence VPGVG is used as a pendant group of a poly(phenylacetylene) (PPA) its thermoresponsive behavior in water can be remotely detected through conformational changes on the formed helix. Circular dichroism at different temperatures shows an inversion of the first Cotton effect (450 nm) at 25.8 °C that matches with the cloud point temperature. The elastin-based side-chain poly(phenylacetylene) shows an upper critical solution temperature with low pH and concentration dependency, not expected in elastin-based polymers. It was found that the polymer self-assembles in water into spherical nanoparticles with hydrodynamic diameters of 140 nm at the hydrophobic state.