One-pot "click" fabrication of slide-ring gels
Slide-ring (SR) gels have been fabricated through a convenient one-pot approach using thiol-ene click chemistry. Pseudo-polyrotaxanes of monothiolated β-cyclodextrin threaded on poly(allyl glycidyl ether)-block-poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(allyl glycidyl ether) were prepared in water by sonication and subsequently photo-cross-linked by UV irradiation. The pseudo-polyrotaxanes were characterized through dynamic light scattering analysis and nuclear Overhauser enhancement spectroscopy with the chemical and physical properties of the resulting SR gels being compared to the corresponding covalent gels. In contrast to these covalent gels, the SR gels showed comparable elasticity but exhibited high stretchability and tunable degradability under acidic conditions. We believe this simple and efficient fabrication method will expand and facilitate future applications of SR gels.