Controlling the spatial distribution of solubilized compounds within copolymer micelles

Alessandro Ianiro (Corresponding author), Álvaro González García, Stefan Wijker, Joseph P. Patterson, A. Catarina C. Esteves, Remco Tuinier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)


The solubilization of lyophobic compounds in block copolymer micelles has been extensively investigated but remains only partially understood. There is a need to understand the fundamental parameters that determine the spatial distribution of the solubilized compounds within the micelles. Controlling this feature is a key aspect in the design of drug delivery systems with tailored release properties. Using Scheutjens-Fleer self-consistent field (SF-SCF) computations, we found that solubilization is regulated by a complex interplay between enthalpic and entropic contributions and that the spatial distribution can be controlled by the concentration and solubility of the guest compound in the dispersion medium. Upon solubilization, a characteristic change in size and mass of the micelles is predicted. This can be used as a fingerprint to indirectly assess the spatial distribution. Based on these findings, we developed two experimental protocols to control and assess the spatial distribution of lyophobic compounds within block copolymer micelles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4776-4786
Number of pages11
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2019


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