We report the synthesis of polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) particles by mixing the negatively and positively charged polyelectrolytes, poly(l-glutamic acid) (PGA) and poly(2-(N,N-diethylamino) ethylmethacrylate) (PDEAEMA), and the use of negatively charged PEC particles as colloidal templates for silica mineralization under ambient conditions. The structure and property of PEC particles, as well as polypeptide chain conformation, were found to depend on the mixing weight percentage, polymer molecular weight, and solution condition. The negatively charged PEC micelles can be deposited with silica without loss colloid stability, leading to PGA-decorated hybrid particles. These hybrid particles were negatively charged at neutral and basic condition and become positively charged, accompanying the conformational changes of the grafted PGA, upon decreasing pH below isoelectric points due to the protonation/deprotonation of PGA and PDEAEMA. Functional nanoparticles such as gold NPs could be incorporated using polypeptides as the mediating agents. These hybrid particles loaded with drug exhibited noticeable pH-responsive behavior with accelerated release at acidic condition, demonstrating the potential for use as pH-responsive delivery vehicles. This type of polypeptide-decorated hybrid particles represents an interesting class of organic-inorganic hybrids in which the functional properties of polypeptides such as biocompatibility, stimuli responsiveness, and directed growth of metal nanoparticles can be incorporated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry