Effect of Detergents on Morphology, Size Distribution, and Concentration of Copolymer-Based Polymersomes

Radosław Pawel Górecki*, Fabio Antenucci, Karolis Norinkevicius, Line Elmstrøm Christiansen, Scott Treven Myers, Krzysztof Trzaskuś, Claus Hélix-Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Polymersomes made of amphiphilic diblock copolymers are generally regarded as having higher physical and chemical stability than liposomes composed of phospholipids. This enhanced stability arises from the higher molecular weight of polymer constituents. Despite their increased stability, polymer bilayers are solubilized by detergents in a similar manner to lipid bilayers. In this work, we evaluated the stability of poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEG-PCL)-based polymersomes exposed to three different detergents: N-octyl-β-d-glucopyranoside (OG), lauryldimethylamine N-oxide (LDAO), and Triton X-100 (TX-100). Changes in morphology, particle size distribution, and concentrations of the polymersomes were evaluated during the titration of the detergents into the polymersome solutions. Furthermore, we discussed the effect of detergent features on the solubilization of the polymeric bilayer and compared it to the results reported in the literature for liposomes and polymersomes. This information can be used for tuning the properties of PEG-PCL polymersomes for use in applications such as drug delivery or protein reconstitution studies.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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