The co-assembly of ionic-neutral block copolymers with oppositely charged species produces nanometric colloidal complexes, known, among other names, as complex coacervates core micelles (C3Ms). C3Ms are of widespread interest in nanomedicine for controlled delivery and release, whilst research activity into other application areas, such as gelation, catalysis, nanoparticle synthesis, and sensing, is increasing. In this review, we discuss recent studies on the functional roles that C3Ms can fulfil in these and other fields, focusing on emerging structure-function relations and remaining knowledge gaps.
- Complex coacervate core micelle
- Interpolyelectrolyte complex
- Polyion complex
- Protein-polymer complex
- Structure-function relations