The multi-functional materials are one of the most recent topics, which were successfully developed.
Maleic anhydride copolymers are largely used as antiscale agents, phosphate substitutes in detergent compositions, dispersants, flocculants, soil conditioners or in biomedical application as drugs, drug carriers, or biomaterials. The properties of maleic copolymers as multi-functional materials were not yet developed, but it can be easily seen that they are particularly suitable for this purpose. Their chemical structure can be tailored either by the appropriate choice of the comonomer (hydrophilic or hydrophobic) or by the chemical reaction with suitable low molecular compounds bearing different functions: charged groups (which cause them to behave as polyelectrolytes), dyes or chromophores, bioactive molecules, LC moieties, and other. Moreover they can be obtained from easily accessible commercial monomers which are relatively cheap, by radical copolymerization in organic solvents using common initiators. The co-monomer can be N-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP), vinyl acetate (VA), methyl methacrylate (MMA), or styrene (St), given in the order of increasing hydrophobic character. From the results we have already obtained or are in progress it will be presented:
- layer-by-layer deposition from maleic polyelectrolytes and dyes;
- synthesis of new maleic copolymers derivatives containing dyes or chromophores for optical applications;
- systems for controlled delivery of bioactive substances;
- organo-inorganic composites or hybrids based on maleic acid copolymers and phosphates/hydroxyapatite;
- obtaining of microspheres from hydrophobically modified maleic copolymers;
- synthesis of new maleic anhydride copolymers with bulky/hydrophobic comonomers such as vinylnaphthalene, N-vinylcarbazole, N-vinylcaprolactame.
Acknowledgement: This research was partly supported by the Romanian Program MATNANTECH, projects no. C111 and C138.