We have used the Scheutjens-Fleer self-consistent field (SF-SCF) method to predict the self-assembly of triblock copolymers with a solvophilic middle block and sufficiently long solvophobic outer blocks. We model copolymers consisting of polyethylene oxide (PEO) as the solvophilic block and poly(lactic-co- glycolic) acid (PLGA) or poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) as the solvophobic block. These copolymers form structurally quenched spherical micelles provided the solvophilic block is long enough. Predictions are calibrated on experimental data for micelles composed of PCL-PEO-PCL and PLGA-PEO-PLGA triblock copolymers prepared via the nanoprecipitation method. We establish effective interaction parameters that enable us to predict various micelle properties such as the hydrodynamic size, the aggregation number and the loading capacity of the micelles for hydrophobic species that are consistent with experimental findings.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Aug 2013|