Electroactive Polymer Nanoparticles Exhibiting Photothermal Properties


T. Cantu, Rodier, B., Iszard, Z., Kilian, A., Pattani, V., Walsh, K., Weber, K., Tunnell, J., Betancourt, T., and Irvin, J., “Electroactive Polymer Nanoparticles Exhibiting Photothermal Properties,” no. 107, pp. e53631, 2016.


A method for the synthesis of electroactive polymers is demonstrated, starting with the synthesis of extended conjugation monomers using a three-step process that finishes with Negishi coupling. Negishi coupling is a cross-coupling process in which a chemical precursor is first lithiated, followed by transmetallation with ZnCl2. The resultant organozinc compound can be coupled to a dibrominated aromatic precursor to give the conjugated monomer. Polymer films can be prepared via electropolymerization of the monomer and characterized using cyclic voltammetry and ultraviolet-visible-near infrared (UV-Vis-NIR) spectroscopy. Nanoparticles (NPs) are prepared via emulsion polymerization of the monomer using a two-surfactant system to yield an aqueous dispersion of the polymer NPs. The NPs are characterized using dynamic light scattering, electron microscopy, and UV-Vis-NIR-spectroscopy. Cytocompatibility of NPs is investigated using the cell viability assay. Finally, the NP suspensions are irradiated with a NIR laser to determine their effectiveness as potential materials for photothermal therapy (PTT).