Amphiphilic hyperbranched fluoropolymers as nanoscopic 19F magnetic resonance imaging agent assemblies

Wenjun Du, Andreas M. Nyström, Lei Zhang, Kenya T. Powell, Yali Li, Chong Cheng, Samuel A. Wickline, Karen L. Wooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Three hyperbranched fluoropolymers were synthesized and their micelles were constructed as potential 19F MRI agents. A hyperbranched star-like core was first synthesized via atom transfer radical self-condensing vinyl (co)polymerization (ATR-SCVCP) of 4-chloromethyl styrene (CMS), lauryl acrylate (LA), and 1,1,1-tris(4′- (2″-bromoisobutyryloxy)phenyl)ethane (TBBPE). The polymerization gave a small core with Mn of 5.5 kDa with PDI of 1.6, which served as a macroinitiator. Trifluoroethyl methacrylate (TFEMA) and tert-butyl acrylate (tBA) in different ratios were then "grafted" from the core to give three polymers with Mn of about 120 kDa and PDI values of about 1.6-1.8. After acidolysis of the tert-butyl ester groups, amphiphilic, hyperbranched star-like polymers with Mn of about 100 kDa were obtained. These structures were subjected to micelle formation in aqueous solution to give micelles having TEM-measured diameters ranging from 3-8 nm and DLS-measured hydrodynamic diameters from 20-30 nm. These micelles gave a narrow, single resonance by 19F NMR spectroscopy, with a half-width of approximately 130 Hz. The T1/T2 parameters were about 500 and 50 ms, respectively, and were not significantly affected by the composition and sizes of the micelles. 19F MRI phantom images of these fluorinated micelles were acquired, which demonstrated that these fluorinated micelles maybe useful as novel 19F MRI agents for a variety of biomedical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2826-2833
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


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