Functional oligomers based on glutathione (GSH) and poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) were synthesized via Michael addition. Well-defined, spherical nanoparticle self-assembly was confirmed via dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy. In addition, a series of Michael addition oligomers containing GSH were prepared with various molecular weights of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). Thermal analysis indicated that the oligomers were thermally stable to ∼160 °C, and the T g increased as the PEG molecular weight increased. In addition, thiol-terminated PEG was synthesized and reacted with GSH to form disulfide-linked oligomers to probe potential antioxidant therapies. SH-SY5Y cells were utilized in cell culture experiments, and hydrogen peroxide induced oxidative stress on the cells. Disulfide-linked GSH oligomers were 100% effective at protecting SH-SY5Y cells from oxidative stress, whereas the Michael addition GSH oligomers did not offer protection.
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