Design Principles for Triggerable Polymeric Amphiphiles with Mesogenic Side Chains for Multiscale Responses with Liquid Crystals

Lisa Adamiak, Joel Pendery, Jiawei Sun, Kazuki Iwabata, Nathan C. Gianneschi, Nicholas L. Abbott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interfacial assemblies formed by polymeric amphiphiles at aqueous interfaces of thermotropic liquid crystals (LCs) can trigger multiscale changes in the organization of the LCs in response to recognition events. However, we have a limited understanding of the rules governing the rational design of LC-integrated polymeric amphiphiles. Herein, we report the synthesis of families of amphiphilic polymers that differ in (i) side-chain molecular structure, (ii) polymer architecture, and (iii) copolymer composition. We used this library in experiments to establish structure-property relationships relevant to the design of multifunctional polymers that can amplify and transduce biomolecular recognition events into optically detectable, macroscopic ordering transitions in LCs. We then utilized these structure-property relationships to guide the design of a peptide-polymer amphiphile (PPA) that assembles at the interface of LC droplets. Enzymatic cleavage of PPA-coated LC droplets by thermolysin directly triggered a change in the internal ordering of the LC within the droplets and the scattering of light from the droplets. The results of our study provide important guidance to future designs of triggerable LC systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1978-1985
Number of pages8
JournalMacromolecules
Volume51
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 13 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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