Synthesis of click-reactive HPMA copolymers using RAFT polymerization for drug delivery applications

Morten F. Ebbesen, David H. Schaffert, Michael L. Crowley, David Oupický, Kenneth A. Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This study describes a versatile strategy combining reversible addition fragmentation transfer (RAFT) polymerization and click chemistry to synthesize well-defined, reactive copolymers of N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) for drug delivery applications. A novel azide containing monomer N-(3-azidopropyl)methacrylamide (AzMA) was synthesized and copolymerized with HPMA using RAFT polymerization to provide p(HPMA-co-AzMA) copolymers with high control of molecular weight (∼10-54 kDa) and polydispersity (≤1.06). The utility of the side-chain azide functionality by Cu(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) was demonstrated by efficient conjugation (up to 92%) of phosphocholine, a near infrared dye, and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) with different substitution degrees, either alone or in combination. This study introduces a novel and versatile method to synthesize well-defined click-reactive HPMA copolymers for preparing a panel of bioconjugates with different functionalities needed to systemically evaluate and tune the biological performance of polymer-based drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5091-5099
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • HPMA
  • N-(3-azidopropyl) methacrylamide
  • biomaterials
  • click chemistry
  • drug delivery systems
  • reversible addition fragmentation transfer (RAFT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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