Selenium Contained Novel Biopolymer

Selenium-containing polymers have been mainly used as optoelectronic or semi-conducting materials and catalysts. They can also be used as dual responsive materials because of its unique redox responsiveness. However, they have not been widely studied due to the limited solubility and poor stability.

Dr. Huaping Xu and Prof. Xi Zhang’s research group successfully synthesized a block copolymer containing diselenide with good solubility and stability by the introduction of long alkyl chain in the polymer backbone and subsequent termination with long poly(ethylene glycol) chain. The selenium-containing amphiphilic block copolymer is able to self-assemble in aqueous solution to form block copolymer aggregates. The aggregates have a good oxidation-responsiveness and undergo a structural dissociation in a mild oxidative environment due to the unique sensitivity of selenide groups in presence of oxidants. It is anticipated that selenium-containing block copolymer aggregates may find application in the field of drug delivery systems.

The result was published on Polymer Chemistry 2010, 1, 1609, and was chosen as the cover paper.