Grafting of graphene oxide with stimuli-responsive polymers by using ATRP for drug release
A thermo-responsive drug delivery system was reported based on grafting of stimuli-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPA) on the surface of graphene oxide (GO) via atom transfer radical polymerization. The successful synthesis of PNIPA attached on GO (GO-PNIPA) was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectrum, X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscope, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy measurements. Control of drug release through the composite GO-PNIPA was performed by measuring the uptake and release of ibuprofen (IBU). It was found the delivery system demonstrated a much high IBU storage of 280 wt%, attributing to the formation of the hydrogen bonding between the polymers on the GO surface and IBU as well as the large number of internal cavities of the PNIPA chains. In vitro test of IBU release exhibited a narrow pronounced transition at around 22 degrees C, indicating an attractive thermo-sensitive release property of this delivery system. The strategy may pave the way for the use of GO in numerous applications, from drug delivery to thermally responsive micro- and nano-devices.