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Effect of cyclodextrins on pH-induced conformational transition of poly(methacrylic acid)

Jiří Horský, Jiří Podešva, and Zuzana Walterová

Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Heyrovsky Sq. 2, 162 06 Prague 6, Czech Republic



Abstract: A pH-induced conformational transition of atactic poly(2-methylprop-2-enoic acid) (poly(methacrylic acid), PMMA) from the contracted to expanded conformation was investigated by viscometry, potentiometric titration, and anthracene solubilisation in the presence of low-molecular-mass non-ionogenic co-solutes-glucose, α-cyclodextrin (αCD), and γ-cyclodextrin (γCD), respectively. No effect of glucose and αCD on the conformational transition was observed with either of the methods used. On the other hand, the characteristic features of the conformational transition were absent in the presence of γCD. The different effects of the co-solutes indicate that the interaction between PMAA and γCD corresponds to the partial inclusion of the PMAA chain into the γCD cavity. The viscometry and anthracene solubilisation imply that γCD promotes the expanded conformation of PMAA at low pH. The potentiometric titration does not support this conclusion. Even though there is no break on the Henderson-Hasselbalch plot, a characteristic of the conformational transition, the potentiometric behaviour corresponds to that of the contracted PMMA conformation. Thus the results suggest the hierarchical picture of the PMAA conformation at low pH in which the local arrangement of the PMAA chain is a prerequisite for clustering on a larger scale.

Keywords: cyclodextrins – inclusion complexes – polyelectrolytes – supramolecular structures – conformational transition

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-011-0080-8


Chemical Papers 65 (6) 847–854 (2011)

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