This work describes the formation of water-soluble hydrophilic nanoparticles from biosynthetic poly-β-glutamic acid (PGA). Nanoparticles were formed by cross-linking using 2,2′-(ethylenedioxy) diethylamine in the presence of water-soluble carbodiimide. The structure was determined by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and the particle size by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), size exclusion chromatography (SEC), and dynamic light-scattering (DLS) measurements. The results from TEM, SEC, and DLS reveal that the particle size depends on the ratio of cross-linking. Particle size values measured by TEM were between 20 and 90 nm. Formation of cross-linked nanoparticles results in a dramatic viscosity drop compared to the viscosity of the corresponding solution of the parent PGA. The viscosity and DLS experiments disclose an intriguing interplay between intrachain and interchain cross-linking of the polymer chains, depending on the cross-linker density and polymer concentration. The SEC measurements show that the retention time of the major portion of particles increase because of the higher cross-linking ratio. At moderate cross-linker concentration, intramolecular cross-linking is the dominant process, whereas at higher cross-linker densities, the interpolymer cross-linking plays an important role. As a result, large clusters are also formed.
- Poly-gamma-glutamic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry