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

14 December 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


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.


interpolyelectrolyte complex


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.