Poly(butyl-2-cyanoacrylate) (PBCA) nanoparticles have been widely elaborated for nearly half a century. However, PBCA nanowires (PNWs) were seldom investigated. Here, new polymeric biomaterial PNWs were prepared via emulsion polymerization based on the sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-assisted emulsion process. Results indicated that SDS micelles and PBCA polymer can develop surfactant-polymer complexes by self-assembly at room temperature. SDS concentration was confirmed to be the critical parameter for the association of the surfactant and the polymer. With the addition of SDS (0–40 mM), the interaction between SDS and PBCA led to a series of transitions from nanoparticles to nanowires. These morphology transitions were triggered by changing the electrostatic repulsion in the SDS-PBCA system, confirmed by the variety of zeta potential with increasing molar contents of SDS. To overcome the electrostatic repulsion, the complexes underwent transitions from spherical, worm-like (short-cylindrical), to elongated-cylindrical form. Finally, associated with the results from scanning / transmission electron microscopy (SEM / TEM), the elongated-cylindrical PNWs acquired at 20 mM of SDS were chosen to execute cell viability assay, which showed that they had no toxicity but with good-biocompatibility at the doses ≤ 50 μg/ml. These results indicate that the PNWs prepared by this facile-green and low-toxic strategy can potentially work as promising biomaterials in the biomedicine field.
- Emulsion polymerization
- Formation mechanism
- Poly(butyl-2-cyanoacrylate) nanowires
- Sodium dodecyl sulfate