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Macromol Rapid Commun. 2014 Apr;35(8):767-79. doi: 10.1002/marc.201300866. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

Smart nanocontainers: progress on novel stimuli-responsive polymer vesicles.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Organic Optoelectronics & Molecular Engineering of Ministry of Education, Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, P. R. China.


In the past decade, polymer vesicles prepared by self-assembly techniques have attracted increasing scientific interest based on their unique features highlighted with tunable membrane properties, versatility, stability, and capacity of transporting hydrophilic as well as hydrophobic species. Polymersomes exhibit intriguing potential applications such as cell mimicking dimensions and functions, tunable delivery vehicles, for the templating of biomineralization, nanoreactors, and as scaffolds for biological conjugation. In this Feature Article, an overview of the preparation and application of recently developed "smart" polymer vesicles, which can respond to the novel external stimuli, including carbon dioxide (CO2), electrochemical potential, ultrasound, enzyme, near-infrared light, and magnetic field is given. The response mechanism and morphology change are explored with specific focus on the functionalization of various domains of the polymer vesicles. In addition, the current limitations are explored as well as the challenges facing the development of these nanostructures toward real-world applications.

© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


amphiphiles; polymer vesicle; self-assembly; stimuli-responsive

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