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Polymers 2018, 10(3), 336;

Cargo Release from Polymeric Vesicles under Shear

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW 7 2AZ, UK
Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Oxford Thermofluids Institute, Oxford OX2 0ES, UK
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Ave, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 January 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Modern and Advanced Engineering Applications)
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In this paper we study the release of cargo from polymeric nano-carriers under shear. Vesicles formed by two star block polymers— A 12 B 6 C 2 ( A B C ) and A 12 B 6 A 2 ( A B A )—and one linear block copolymer— A 14 B 6 ( A B ), are investigated using dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations. A - and C -blocks are solvophobic and B -block is solvophilic. The three polymers form vesicles of different structures. The vesicles are subjected to shear both in bulk and between solvophobic walls. In bulk shear, the mechanisms of cargo release are similar for all vesicles, with cargo travelling through vesicle membrane with no preferential release location. When sheared between walls, high cargo release rate is only observed with A B C vesicle after it touches the wall. For A B C vesicle, the critical condition for high cargo release rate is the formation of wall-polymersome interface after which the effect of shear rate in promoting cargo release is secondary. High release rate is achieved by the formation of solvophilic pathway allowing cargo to travel from the vesicle cavity to the vesicle exterior. The results in this paper show that well controlled target cargo release using polymersomes can be achieved with polymers of suitable design and can potentially be very useful for engineering applications. As an example, polymersomes can be used as carriers for surface active friction reducing additives which are only released at rubbing surfaces where the additives are needed most. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer vesicles; shear-induced; cargo release; confined shear; additive carriers; soft nanoadditives polymer vesicles; shear-induced; cargo release; confined shear; additive carriers; soft nanoadditives

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Guo, Y.; Di Mare, L.; Li, R.K.Y.; Wong, J.S.S. Cargo Release from Polymeric Vesicles under Shear. Polymers 2018, 10, 336.

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