Hyaluronic acid (HA) and alginate (AL) covalent nanogels cross-linked with l-lysine ethyl ester were prepared by template chemical cross-linking of the polysaccharide in polyion complex micelle (PIC) nanoreactors. By using this method we were able to prepare HA and AL nanogels without organic solvents. PICs were prepared by using poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly[(3-acrylamidopropyl)- trimethylammonium chloride] (PEO-b-PAMPTMA) or poly[(N-isopropylacrylamide)- block-PAMPTMA] (PNIPAAM-b-PAMPTMA). Only PNIPAAM-b-PAMPTMA block copolymers allowed to prepare PIC with small and controlled size. Short polysaccharide chains (Xn = 50 and 63 for AL and HA, respectively, where X n is the number of monosaccharidic units present in the polysaccharide) where used to optimize PIC formation. The remarkable difference in charge density and rigidity of HA and AL did not have a significant influence on the formation of PICs. PICs with small size (diameter of about 50-80 nm) and low polydispersity were obtained up to 5 mg/mL of polymer. After cross-linking with l-lysine ethyl ester, the nanoreactors were dissociated by adding NaCl. The nanogels were easily purified and isolated by dialysis. The dissociation of the nanoreactors and the formation of the nanogels were confirmed by 1H NMR, DLS, TEM and ζ-potential measurements. The size of the smallest nanogels in solution in the swollen state was 50-70 nm in presence of salt and 80-100 nm in water. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
De Santis, S., Diociaiuti, M., Cametti, C., Masci, G. (2014). Hyaluronic acid and alginate covalent nanogels by template cross-linking in polyion complex micelle nanoreactors. CARBOHYDRATE POLYMERS, 101(1), 96-103 [10.1016/j.carbpol.2013.09.033].