Evaluation of electrical conductivities of temperature sensitive poly(ethylene glycol) nano-carriers

M. Rhodes, S. Bauman, J. Meyer, J. Peng, S. Ghosh
Southeast Missouri State University, US

Keywords: multifunctional nanocarriers, temperature responsive

Summary:

In this study, we have measured the conductivities of the thermo-responsive polyethylene glycol (PEG) nanospheres in aqueous solution as a function of polymer concentration and volumetric transition temperature. Size, composition, and lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the nanocarriers have been tuned by adopting versatile design techniques. We have observed 400% increase in conductivities in the range of 2-10 wt.% copolymer concentrations. Moreover, 70% increase in electrical conductivity was observed below (room temperature, ~ 22C) and above LCST (~38C). Similar behavior is observed with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanomagnets encased in PEG shell nanospheres. Excellent biocompatibility of the PEG based magnetic nanocarriers, coupled with significant increase in electrical conductivity in the physiological temperature range might be very helpful to develop novel substrates for biomedical applications, especially to direct axon outgrowth.