Physical Property Scaling Relationships for Polyelectrolyte Complex Micelles
Polyelectrolyte complex micelles (PCMs) are widely used in the delivery of hydrophilic payloads. Their attractive features include an ability to tune physical attributes, which are strongly dependent on the size and chemical structure of each polymer block. Neutral blocks drive nanoscale phase separation while charged blocks control micelle core size and stability. An understanding of physical property behavior controlled by block size is crucial when designing for use in dynamic or biological environments and provides a greater understanding of the physics of polyelectrolyte assembly. In this work, we use small angle x-ray scattering, and light scattering to determine precise scaling behaviors of physical micelle parameters for commonly used polyelectrolytes. We then compare our results to accumulated published data and theory to show strong agreement, suggesting these laws are universal for PCMs.