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iScience. 2018 Sep 28;7:132-144. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2018.08.018. Epub 2018 Aug 24.

Bottom-Up Evolution of Vesicles from Disks to High-Genus Polymersomes.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, University College London, 20 Gordon Street, Christopher Ingold Building, London WC1H 0AJ, UK; Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, Imperial College Rd, London SW7 2AZ, UK.
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield, Broad Lane, Sheffield S3 7HQ, UK.
3
Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Firth Court, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK; South China Advanced Institute for Soft Matter Science and Technology, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China.
4
Department of Chemistry, University College London, 20 Gordon Street, Christopher Ingold Building, London WC1H 0AJ, UK; LAGEP, University Claude Bernard Lyon, 43 Boulevard du 11 Novembre 1918, Lyon 69622, France.
5
Department of Chemistry, University College London, 20 Gordon Street, Christopher Ingold Building, London WC1H 0AJ, UK; Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, Mattenstrasse 24a, BPR1096, Basel 4058, Switzerland.
6
Department of Chemistry, University College London, 20 Gordon Street, Christopher Ingold Building, London WC1H 0AJ, UK; Institute of Physics of Living System, University College London, 19 Gordon St, London WC1H 0AH, UK.
7
Department of Chemistry, University College London, 20 Gordon Street, Christopher Ingold Building, London WC1H 0AJ, UK; EPSRC/Jeol Centre for Liquid Phase Electron Microscopy, University College London, 20 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AJ, UK; Institute of Physics of Living System, University College London, 19 Gordon St, London WC1H 0AH, UK.
8
Department of Chemistry, University College London, 20 Gordon Street, Christopher Ingold Building, London WC1H 0AJ, UK; EPSRC/Jeol Centre for Liquid Phase Electron Microscopy, University College London, 20 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AJ, UK; Institute of Physics of Living System, University College London, 19 Gordon St, London WC1H 0AH, UK; Department of Chemical Engineering, University College London, Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK. Electronic address: g.battaglia@ucl.ac.uk.

Abstract

Polymersomes are vesicles formed by the self-assembly of amphiphilic copolymers in water. They represent one of the most promising alternatives of natural vesicles as they add new possibilities in the amphiphiles' molecular engineering of aqueous compartments. Here we report the design of polymersomes using a bottom-up approach wherein self-assembly of amphiphilic copolymers poly(2-(methacryloyloxy) ethyl phosphorylcholine)-poly(2-(diisopropylamino) ethyl methacrylate) (PMPC-PDPA) into membranes is tuned using pH and temperature. We report evolution from disk micelles, to vesicles, to high-genus vesicles (vesicles with many holes), where each passage is controlled by pH switch or temperature. We show that the process can be rationalized, adapting membrane physics theories to disclose scaling principles that allow the estimation of minimal radius of vesiculation as well as chain entanglement and coupling. This approach allows us to generate nanoscale vesicles with genus from 0 to 70, which have been very elusive and difficult to control so far.

KEYWORDS:

Colloids; Materials Chemistry; Polymer Chemistry

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