Effect of Poly(ethylene glycol) Grafting Density on Methylcellulose Fibril Formation

Svetlana Morozova, Peter W. Schmidt, Frank S. Bates, Timothy P. Lodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigate the effect of short-chain poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) graft density on the formation of methylcellulose (MC) fibrils at elevated temperatures. Thiol-ene click chemistry was used to systematically graft 800 and 2000 g/mol PEG onto the backbone of allylated MC, with a wide range of grafting densities from 0.7% to 33%. As determined from light scattering, grafting leads to an increase in the persistence length of this semiflexible copolymer, by as much as a factor of 10. Upon heating, SAXS and AFM studies show that fibril formation is suppressed at around 10% grafting density for shorter PEG grafts, corresponding to persistence lengths about ∼22 nm. For longer grafts fibril formation is suppressed at 7% grafting density, at around the same ∼22 nm persistence length. The radius of the fibrils increases with the square root of the persistence length of the chains, which is consistent with a theory for the radius of twisted chains. The ability to form networks at 80 °C is highly correlated to the ability to form fibrils, and accordingly the modulus systematically decreases with grafting density. When the fibril formation is suppressed, MC solutions no longer form solid networks. Therefore, grafting modulates the molecular architecture and gelation properties of MC and also provides new insight into the structure of MC fibrils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9413-9421
Number of pages9
JournalMacromolecules
Volume51
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 11 2018

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Methylcellulose
Polyethylene glycols
Grafts
Gelation
Sulfhydryl Compounds
Light scattering
Copolymers
Heating

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Effect of Poly(ethylene glycol) Grafting Density on Methylcellulose Fibril Formation. / Morozova, Svetlana; Schmidt, Peter W.; Bates, Frank S.; Lodge, Timothy P.

In: Macromolecules, Vol. 51, No. 23, 11.12.2018, p. 9413-9421.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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