Morphology under control: engineering biodegradable stomatocytes

I.A.B. Pijpers, L.K.E.A. Abdelmohsen, D.S. Williams, J.C.M. van Hest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
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Biodegradable nanoarchitectures, with well-defined morphological features, are of great importance for nanomedical research; however, understanding (and thereby engineering) their formation is a substantial challenge. Herein, we uncover the supramolecular potential of PEG-PDLLA copolymers by exploring the physicochemical determinants that result in the transformation of spherical polymersomes into stomatocytes. To this end, we have engineered blended polymersomes (comprising copolymers with varying lengths of PEG), which undergo solvent-dependent reorganization inducing negative spontaneous membrane curvature. Under conditions of anisotropic solvent composition across the PDLLA membrane, facilitated by the dialysis methodology, we demonstrate osmotically induced stomatocyte formation as a consequence of changes in PEG solvation, inducing negative spontaneous membrane curvature. Controlled formation of unprecedented, biodegradable stomatocytes represents the unification of supramolecular engineering with the theoretical understanding of shape transformation phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1222
Number of pages6
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2017


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