Synthesis of a novel pH-responding polymer with pendant barbituric acid moieties

W. J. Zhou, M. J. Kurth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A simple method for the synthesis of pH-responding polymers containing barbituric acid moieties is described. The synthesis involves N-methyl-N′-(4-vinylbenzyl) urea (2) preparation and its polymerization in DMF using AIBN as the initiator to give poly(N-methyl-N′-(4-vinylbenzyl)urea) (4) with a number average molecular weight of 4.9 × 105 as determined by GPC. Cyclocondensation of urea with malonic acid in acetic acid/acetic anhydride affords the polymer (5) with pendant barbituric moieties. The pH-responding behavior of polymer 5 in water indicates that it has excellent pH-sensitivity at pH 6 ∼ 7. The potential and the versatility of this work are exciting and include the potential preparation of water-soluble polymers by modification of polyureas, metal chelating materials, and "smart" hydrogels upon crosslinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-349
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2001


  • pH-responding polymer
  • Poly(barbituric acid)
  • Polyureas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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