Random copolymers of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPA) and N-[3-(dimethylamino)propyl]methacrylamide (DMAPM) were synthesized by solution polymerization using azobisizobutyronitrile as the initiator in 1,4-dioxane at. 60 degreesC. NIPA-co-DMAPM copolymer exhibited both temperature and pH sensitivity. Thermally reversible phase transitions were observed both in the acidic and the alkaline pH regions for copolymers produced with different DMAPM/NIPA feed ratios. The pH dependency of the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) was stronger for copolymers produced with higher DMAPM feed concentrations. NIPA-co-DMAPM random copolymer was also sensitive to the albumin concentration. In the presence of albumin, thermally irreversible phase transitions were observed in slightly acidic and neutral media. However, reversible transitions were obtained in aqueous media containing albumin-at basic pH. The phase-transition temperature of NIPA-co-DMAPM copolymer significantly decreased with increasing albumin concentration at both acidic and alkaline pH values. This behavior was explained by albumin binding onto the copolymer chains by means of H-bond formation between the dimethylamino groups of the copolymer and the carboxyl groups of albumin. For a certain range of albumin concentration, the phase-transition temperature exhibited a linear decrease with increasing albumin concentration. By utilizing this behavior, a simple albumin assay was developed. The results indicated that NIPA-co-DMAPM copolymer could he utilized as a new reagent for the determination of albumin concentration in the aqueous medium. The proposed method was valid for the albumin concentration range of 0-4000 mug/mL. The protein concentrations commonly utilized in biotechnological studies fall in the range of the proposed method. (C) 2002 Wiley Pehodicals, Inc.