Polymersomes as protocellular constructs

Alexander F. Mason, Pall Thordarson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the rapidly growing amount of knowledge on the structure and function of cells, they remain a distant bottom-up synthetic target due to their overwhelming complexity. A path to this goal is the development of protocellular systems that approximate one or more aspects of a natural cell. Polymer vesicles, or polymersomes, are an attractive scaffold for protocellular constructs, due to our ability to engineer the polymer membrane and generate a wide range of properties. This article summarizes the current state of polymersome science with respect to the properties and functions that lend these polymer-based systems to applications in synthetic cell research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3817-3825
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • asymmetric membranes
  • bio-hybrid polymer systems
  • biomimicry
  • block copolymers
  • membranes
  • non-spherical polymersomes
  • polymer-based compartmentalized nanoreactors
  • polymersome mobility
  • polymersomes
  • protocells
  • self-assembly
  • stimuli-responsive polymers
  • synthetic biology
  • synthetic cells
  • systems chemistry
  • vesicles


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