Formation of non-spherical polymersomes driven by hydrophobic directional aromatic perylene interactions

Chin Ken Wong, Alexander F. Mason, Martina H. Stenzel, Pall Thordarson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Polymersomes, made up of amphiphilic block copolymers, are emerging as a powerful tool in drug delivery and synthetic biology due to their high stability, chemical versatility, and surface modifiability. The full potential of polymersomes, however, has been hindered by a lack of versatile methods for shape control. Here we show that a range of non-spherical polymersome morphologies with anisotropic membranes can be obtained by exploiting hydrophobic directional aromatic interactions between perylene polymer units within the membrane structure. By controlling the extent of solvation/desolvation of the aromatic side chains through changes in solvent quality, we demonstrate facile access to polymersomes that are either ellipsoidal or tubular-shaped. Our results indicate that perylene aromatic interactions have a great potential in the design of non-spherical polymersomes and other structurally complex self-assembled polymer structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1240
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

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