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Macromolecular Self-assembly in Solutions Based on Inclusion Complexation

Professeur Ming Jiang The Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers and Macromolecular Science Department, Fudan University, Shanghai

In our long-term research, we have developed ‘block-copolymer-free strategies’ in macromolecular self-assembly in solutions which lead to new types of micelles. Differing from the ordinary micelles of block copolymers, the core and shell in the new micelles are connected by specific interactions rather than chemical bonding. They were named non-covalently connected micelles (NCCMs). In our early work on NCCMs, we demonstrated that homopolymers, random copolymers, oligomers and ionomers etc. can be used to construct micelles and hollow spheres with proper use of intermolecular hydrogen bonding interactions. In recent years significant progresses in NCCMs have been made by introduction of host-guest interactions as driving forces. The huge accumulation of knowledge and data of the host-guest interactions in supramolecular chemistry provides a fruitful basis for the further developments of NCCMs. The main progresses in this field are reported in this presentation : 1) A new type of supramolecular hydrogels with good mechanical properties is produced in which supramolecular crosslinkers based on the inclusion complexation play specific roles ; 2) As many of the host-guest complexation processes are characterized by reversibility, judicious designs will lead to many new smart NCCMs with reversible self-assembly and disassembly in response to the changes in pH, temperature, light irradiation etc. and 3) Surface modifications of self-assembled vesicles of polymers are realized due to the interactions between the host existing on the vesicle surfaces and the guest at an end of the polymeric modifiers.