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Polymers 2011, 3(1), 252-280; doi:10.3390/polym3010252

Functionalization of Block Copolymer Vesicle Surfaces

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, Klingelbergstr. 80, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
2
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Department of Colloid Chemistry, Research Campus Golm, 14424 Potsdam, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2010 / Revised: 20 December 2010 / Accepted: 29 December 2010 / Published: 11 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Structures of Block Copolymers)
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Abstract

In dilute aqueous solutions certain amphiphilic block copolymers self-assemble into vesicles that enclose a small pool of water with a membrane. Such polymersomes have promising applications ranging from targeted drug-delivery devices, to biosensors, and nanoreactors. Interactions between block copolymer membranes and their surroundings are important factors that determine their potential biomedical applications. Such interactions are influenced predominantly by the membrane surface. We review methods to functionalize block copolymer vesicle surfaces by chemical means with ligands such as antibodies, adhesion moieties, enzymes, carbohydrates and fluorophores. Furthermore, surface-functionalization can be achieved by self-assembly of polymers that carry ligands at their chain ends or in their hydrophilic blocks. While this review focuses on the strategies to functionalize vesicle surfaces, the applications realized by, and envisioned for, such functional polymersomes are also highlighted.
Keywords: amphiphilic block copolymer; vesicle; polymersome; biomimetic membrane; surface functionalization; targeting ligand; conjugation; immobilization; functional blocks   amphiphilic block copolymer; vesicle; polymersome; biomimetic membrane; surface functionalization; targeting ligand; conjugation; immobilization; functional blocks  
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Egli, S.; Schlaad, H.; Bruns, N.; Meier, W. Functionalization of Block Copolymer Vesicle Surfaces. Polymers 2011, 3, 252-280.

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