Heterogeneous polymerisation reactions are investigated and applied already for a long time in academic and industrial research. Among those, the class of emulsion polymerisations (emulsion-, miniemulsion- and microemulsionpolymerisation) are the most prominent and best studied systems. An investigation of polymerisation reactions in other highly ordered amphiphile systems has started only about twenty years ago and developed rapidly during the last decade. It is the appealing nano-scopic order of supramolecular assemblies that inspired polymer chemists to translate this regularity into ordered materials. The act of translation can he interpreted as a conversion of physically aggregated structures into chemically hound materials. Several concepts have been presented to achieve this translation and we will try in the first part of this review to classify the main concepts on an abstract level. A literature survey then illustrates the general concepts with actual examples. The main topic of this review, however, is the polymerisation reaction in vesicle bilayers as one distinct example of polymerisation reactions in supramolecular assemblies. Rather than only reporting results we want to demonstrate the need of a multidisciplinary approach of this research area while highlighting different aspects. An introduction to vesicles is followed by a critical evaluation of the main up-to-date characterisation methods in the field. Finally, own results on one model system show that polymerisation reactions in vesicles lead to unusual vesicle-polymer hybrids that establish a novel class of polymer colloids. Within the framework of other polymerisation reactions in heterogeneous media, it becomes obvious that the formation of novel vesicle-polymer hybrids is only one example that exhibits parallels to many others.
|Number of pages
|Recent Research Developments in Macromolecules Research
|Published - 1999