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1. (WO2006038110) AMPHIPHILIC STAR BLOCK COPOLYMERS
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Claims

1. A block copolymer compound comprising the general formula (I)



wherein
A is a core having s functionalities; s multiplied by z defines the number of arms of the copolymer, whereby the product of s*z >6;
Xm and Yn are, independently of each other, a linear or branched linker moiety with m or n, independently of each other, being 0 or 1, which is, once grafted to the core, suitable as a starting point for at least one polymerisation reaction;
z and t are the number of branching provided by each of the linker moieties X and Y, respectively, with z and t being, independently, in the range of 1 — 10;
B is a polymerised moiety having a calculated Hansen solubility parameter of <25, which is covalently linked to a functionality of A or to a functionality of X, with p being the average number of polymerised B moieties, p is in the range of 3-300;
D is a polymerised moiety having a Hansen solubility parameter of >25 with q being the average number of polymerised D moieties, q is in the range of 3-300.

2. A block copolymer, suitable for encapsulation of hydrophobic functional agents, the block copolymer comprising, in this order,
a central, lipophilic or hydrophilic, multifunctional core (A),
a lipophilic block (B), and,
a hydrophilic block (D);
and, optionally, one or more linker molecules between the core and the lipophilic block (X) and/or between the lipophilic block and the hydrophilic block (Y).

3. The copolymer according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the core A is a hyperbranched and/or dentritic polymer.

4. The copolymer according to any of the preceding claims, wherein B is a polymerised moiety having a Hansen solubility parameter of ≤ 30 and D is a polymerised moiety having a Hansen solubility parameter of > 30.

5. The copolymer according to any of the preceding claims, which has a mean diameter of 2 - 150 nm.

6. The copolymer according to any of the preceding claims, which has a molecular weight Mn of > 100'0OO g/mol.

7. The copolymer according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising at least one lipophilic functional agent encapsulated in or associated to the copolymer.

8. The copolymer according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the functional agent is selected from the group consisting of a flavour, a fragrance, a drug, an agrochemical, a dye, and mixtures thereof.

9. The copolymer according to any of the preceding claims, wherein A is a hyperbranched polyester.

10. The copolymer according to any of the preceding claims, wherein block B is selected from the group consisting of poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(methyl acrylate), poly(n-butyl methacrylate), poly(n-butyl acrylate), polylactides, polycaprolactone such as poly(ε-caprolactone), polypropylene glycol, polyanhydrides, polysiloxanes, polyphosphazenes, polyazolines and combinations thereof.

11. The copolymer according to any of the preceding claims, wherein block D is selected from the group consisting of poly(methacrylic acid), poly(acrylic acid), poly(dimethyl aminoethyl methacrylate), poly(trimethylaminoethyl methacrylate), poly(trimethylaminoethyl acrylate), poly(trimethylammoniumethyl methacrylate salts), poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate), poly(methylether diethyleneglycol methacrylate), poly(ethylene oxide), polyvinylpyrrolidone), poly(polyethylene glycol acrylate), poly(polyethylene glycol methacrylate), polyaminoacids, polyacrylonitriles, poly(ethylene imine), and, polyoxazoline, and combinations thereof.

12. The copolymer according to any of the preceding claims, which is a multiple-arm star block copolymer.

13. The block copolymer according to any of the preceding claims, in which the blocks B and D are linear, non-branched polymers.

14. The block copolymer according to any of the preceding claims, which comprises at least 12 arms, each arm being defined as a block copolymer comprising at least one block B and at least one block D.

15. A nano-capsule essentially consisting of the block polymer according to any of the preceding claims.

16. A process for manufacturing a block copolymer comprising the steps of
- providing a core (A) having s functionalities, with s > 5,
optionally, linking the functionalities of the core to a linker moiety (X),
polymerising a hydrophobic block (B) onto the functionality of the core (A), or, if present, onto the linker moiety (X),
optionally, linking a further linker moiety (Y) onto the hydrophobic block (B), and,
polymerising a hydrophilic block (D) onto the functionality of the hydrophobic block (B) or, if present, onto the further linker moiety (Y), or, alternatively,
polymerising a second hydrophobic block onto the hydrophobic block (B) or, if present, onto the further linker moiety (Y), followed by chemically transforming the second hydrophobic block into a hydrophilic block (D).

17. Use of the block copolymer according to any of claims 1-14 for encapsulating and/or associating at least one lipophilic functional agent.

18. A method for encapsulating and/or associating at least one lipophilic functional agent, the method comprising the step of contacting the functional agent with the block copolymer of any of claims 1-14.

19. A perfumed product comprising the block copolymer of any of claims 1-14.