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

Functionalization of Block Copolymer Vesicle Surfaces

1
, 2
, 1,*  and 1,*
Received: 30 November 2010; in revised form: 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  
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

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

AMA Style

Egli S, Schlaad H, Bruns N, Meier W. Functionalization of Block Copolymer Vesicle Surfaces. Polymers. 2011; 3(1):252-280.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Egli, Stefan; Schlaad, Helmut; Bruns, Nico; Meier, Wolfgang. 2011. "Functionalization of Block Copolymer Vesicle Surfaces." Polymers 3, no. 1: 252-280.


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