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The synthesis and characterization of lanthanide-encoded poly(styrene-co-methacrylic acid) microspheres

Liang, Y., Abdelrahman, A.I., Baranov, V., Winnik, M.A.

Lanthanide-encoded polystyrene microspheres with methacrylic acid (MAA) as a co-monomer and with diameters on the order of 2 μm and a very narrow size distribution were synthesized by two-stage dispersion polymerization (2-DisP). These microspheres were designed as a platform for mass cytometry-based bioassays. Different lanthanides (Ln) were loaded into these microspheres during the synthesis, through the addition of LnCl3 salts and excess MAA to the reaction after about 10% conversion of styrene, i.e., well after the microsphere nucleation stage was complete. Different levels of MAA were employed to investigate the relationship between the number of carboxyl group on the particle surface and the amount of MAA used. The reaction remained well controlled with both 2 and 4 wt % MAA. As monitored by inductively coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectrometry, we found high incorporation efficiency (>95%) of Ln ions into the particles when the total amount of LnCl3 salts in the reaction mixture was sufficiently small. The Ln incorporation efficiency decreased with the increasing amount of LnCl3 salts. Mass cytometry analysis shows that individual microspheres contain ca. 105–108 chelated lanthanide ions, either a single element or a mixture of elements. This method of incorporating lanthanide into P(S-MAA) particles through the second stage of two-stage dispersion polymerization yields microspheres suitable for the highly multiplexed detection of biomolecules.

Citation

Liang, Y., Abdelrahman, A.I., Baranov, V., Winnik, M.A. "The synthesis and characterization of lanthanide-encoded poly(styrene-co-methacrylic acid) microspheres" Polymer (2011): 5,040–52