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Volume: 3, Issue: 6, June, 2013
DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2013.3601

Research Article

Reductant-dependent None-Partial-Complete Degradation of Block Copolymer Disulfide Crosslinked Nanoassemblies

Geun-woo Jin and Younsoo Bae

  Author Affiliations


Disulfide crosslinked nanoassemblies (ssCNAs) were characterized in this study to assess their reductant-dependent degradation patterns for future development of redox-responsive smart nanomaterials in biomedical applications. The nanoassemblies were prepared from poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(aspartate) block copolymers, crosslinked with cystamine through an amidation reaction, generating 25 nm particles that have a disulfide crosslinked core enveloped with a poly(ethylene glycol) shell. ssCNAs remained unexpectedly stable in the presence of glutathione, a natural reductant overexpressing inside cells to cleave disulfide compounds. Further investigation revealed that ssCNAs underwent none, partial, and complete degradation in aqueous solutions at 37 °C for 48 h, depending on the molecular weight (MW), Connolly surface excluded volume (SEV), and charged state (net negative, neutral, and positive) of a reductant. Among six reductants tested, 2-aminoethanethiol (MW = 77.2, SEV = 52.2 Å3, net positive) was the most efficient for complete degradation of ssCNAs in 1 h, whereas another reductant, similar in structure except the charged state, 2-mercaptoethanol (MW = 78.1, SEV = 50.3 Å3, net neutral), took 4 h for complete nanoassembly degradation. These results indicate that degradation patterns of ssCNAs can be fine-tuned in a reductant-dependent manner, providing a better understanding of chemical stability of disulfide-crosslinked nanoassemblies.


Nanoassemblies, disulfide crosslinking, nanoparticles, degradable linkers, drug delivery, gene delivery.

Citation: Geun-woo Jin and Younsoo Bae., Reductant-dependent NonePartial-Complete Degradation of Block Copolymer Disulfide Crosslinked Nanoassemblies. J App Pharm Sci, 2013; 3 (06): 001- 006.

Copyright: The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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