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  • 1 Universidad de Santiago de Compostela Departamento de Farmacia y Tecnología Farmacéutica, Facultad de Farmacia Santiago de Compostela Spain 15782
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Tetronic® comprises X-shaped copolymers formed by four poly(propylene oxide) (PPO) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) block chains bonded to an ethylene diamine central group. Micellization behaviour of three representative Tetronics (T304, T904 and T1307) was characterized to gain an insight into the interactions between the copolymer unimers and the state of water in their solutions. The enthalpy of demicellization, recorded at 37°C in an isoperibol microcalorimeter, indicated that the process was in all cases exothermic and the enthalpy ranked in the order T1307≥T904>>T304. Micellization is entropy-driven owing to hydrophobic interactions between the PPO chains. DSC analysis showed that the crystallization and melting peaks of the free water remaining in T304 and T904 solutions were progressively shifted toward lower temperatures as the surfactant proportion increased, owing to a colligative effect. Bound water corresponded to 3 water molecules per EO repeating unit. In the case of T1307, which has longer PEO chains, a splitting of the melting peak was observed, one peak appearing around 0°C due to free water and another at –15°C due to interfacial water. As T1307 proportion raised, the enthalpy of the former decreased, whilst the enthalpy of the latter increased. In 40% T1307 solutions, interfacial water overcame the proportion of free water; there being 1 interfacial and 3 bound water molecules per EO repeating unit. Gaussian deconvolution of FTIR spectra also enabled to characterize the evolution of free water as a function of Tetronic proportion. The dependence of micellization and water interaction behaviour on Tetronics structure should be taken into account to use these copolymers as drug solubilizers and micellar carriers.