This paper demonstrates the photophysics of curcumin inside polymeric nanoparticles (NPs), which are being recently used as targeted drug delivery vehicles. For this purpose, we have prepared three polymeric NPs by ultrasonication method from three well-defined water-insoluble random copolymers. These copolymers having various degrees of hydrophobicity were synthesized via reversible additionfragmentation transfer (RAFT) method using styrene and three different functional monomers, namely, 2-hydroxyethyl acrylate, 4-formylphenyl acrylate, and 4-vinylbenzyl chloride. The photophysics of the curcumin molecules inside the polymeric NPs have been monitored by applying tools like steady state and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. An increase in fluorescence intensity along with an increase in the lifetime values indicated a perturbation of the excited state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) process of curcumin inside the polymeric NPs.
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© 2014 American Chemical Society.