Small, monodisperse nanogels (similar to 50-nm radius) were synthesized by free-radical precipitation polymerization and were characterized using a suite of light scattering and chromatography methods. Nanogels were synthesized with either N-isopropylacrylamide or N-isopropylmethacrylamide as the main monomer, with acrylic acid or 4-acrylamidofluorescein as a comonomer and N,N'-methylenebis(acrylamide) as a cross-linker. By varying the surfactant and initiator concentrations, particle size was controlled while maintaining excellent monodispersity. An amine-containing shell was added to these core particles to facilitate subsequent bioconjugation. Successful conjugation of folic acid to the particles was demonstrated as an example of how such materials might be employed in a targeted drug delivery system.
Blackburn, W. H.; Lyon, L. A., Size-controlled synthesis of monodisperse core/shell nanogels, Colloid and Polymer Science 2008, 286 (5), 563-569. doi: 10.1007/s00396-007-1805-7