A series of poly[N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide] copolymers with anthracene-derived fluorophores showing aggregation-induced emission properties for bioimaging

Hongguang Lu, Fengyu Su, Qian Mei, Xianfeng Zhou, Yanqing Tian, Wenjing Tian, Roger H. Johnson, Deirdre Meldrum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


A series of new poly[N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide]-based amphiphilic copolymers were synthesized through a radical copolymerization of a monomeric/hydrophobic fluorophore possessing aggregation-induced emission (AIE) properties with N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide. Photophysical properties were investigated using UV-Vis absorbance and fluorescence spectrophotometry. Influences of the polymer structures with different molar ratios of the AIE fluorophores on their photophysical properties were studied. Results show that the AIE fluorophores aggregate in the cores of the micelles formed from the amphiphilic random copolymers and polymers with more hydrophobic AIE fluorophores facilitate stronger aggregations of the AIE segments to obtain higher quantum efficiencies. The polymers reported herein have good water solubility, enabling the application of hydrophobic AIE materials in biological conditions. The polymers were endocytosed by two experimental cell lines, human brain glioblastoma U87MG cells and human esophagus premalignant CP-A, with a distribution into the cytoplasm. The polymers are noncytotoxic to the two cell lines at a polymer concentration of 1 mg/mL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)890-899
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2012



  • biopolymers
  • dyes
  • fluorescence
  • imaging
  • self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry

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