There are few examples of polymers that exhibit upper critical solution temperature (UCST) behavior under physiological conditions of temperature, pH, and ionic strength. In this study, we demonstrated that polymers with ureido groups undergo UCST-type phase transitions under physiologically relevant conditions. Poly(allylurea) copolymers showed UCST behavior at pH 7.5 in 150 mM NaCl even at the low polymer concentration of 0.13 mg/mL. Their phase separation temperatures (T p) could be controlled up to 65 °C. Similar thermosensitivity was observed with copolypeptides consisting of l-citrulline having an ureido group. This is the first demonstration of a non-vinyl polymer that shows UCST behavior under physiologically relevant conditions. We suggest that the ureido modification will be useful for production of polymer materials with UCST behavior in aqueous media.
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