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Reversible Multilayered Vesicle-like Structures with Fluid Hydrophobic and Interpolyelectrolyte Layers

submitted on 11.12.2020, 13:09 and posted on 14.12.2020, 09:38 by Anastasiia Murmiliuk, Sergey K. Filippov, Oleg Rud, Peter Košovan, Zdeněk Tošner, Aurel Radulescu, Athanasios Skandalis, Stergios Pispas, Miroslav Šlouf, Miroslav Štěpánek
Hydrophobic blocks of amphiphilic block copolymers usually form glassy micellar cores with a rigid structure that limits their applications as nanocapsules for targeted delivery. We report here on the core/shell micelles with a soft core formed
by self-assembly of block copolymer composed of hydrophobic and polycation blocks, poly(lauryl acrylate)-block-poly(trimethylammonioethyl acrylate) (PLA-QPDMAEA), in aqueous solution. Using scattering, microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, we showed that such copolymer forms spherical and cylindrical core/shell micelles with a fluid-like PLA core and a positively charged shell, and that these micelles can encapsulate and release hydrophobic solutes. Moreover, we discovered novel vesicle-
like multicompartment structures containing both soft hydrophobic and interpolyelectrolyte (IPEC) layers formed by co-assembly of PLA-QPDMAEA core/shell micelles with another diblock copolymer composed of a hydrophilic block and polyanion block poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(methacrylic acid) (PEO-PMAA). These complex structures were characterized by small-angle neutron scattering, supported by self-consistent field modeling that confirmed the formation of vesicle-like structures with dense PEO core, IPEC inner layer, PLA soft layer, IPEC outer layer and loose PEO corona. Due to their unique tunable properties, such multicompartment micelles with fluid and IPEC layers and hydrophilic corona can be used as nanocapsules with controllable thickness of each layer, charge and stability.


Grant agency of the Charles University (GAUK), project No.1375219

Czech Science foundation, project No.19-10429S

Charles University Research Centre (Programme No. UNCE/SCI/014)

Ministry of Edu- cation, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, Operational Programme Research, Develop- ment and Education: “Excellent Research Teams”, Project No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15 003/0000417-CUCAM.

European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731019 (EUSMI)

European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), Grenoble, Project No. SC-4621


Email Address of Submitting Author


Charles university


Czech Republic

ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

No conflicts to declare.