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Open AccessArticle

Tuning Size and Morphology of mPEG-b-p(HPMA-Bz) Copolymer Self-Assemblies Using Microfluidics

1
Department of Bio-Organic Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
2
Ardena Oss, 5349 AB Oss, The Netherlands
3
Department of Pharmaceutics, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands
4
Laboratoire de Chimie de Polymères Organiques, Université de Bordeaux, UMR 5629 CNRS, Bordeaux-INP, 33600 Pessac, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Polymers 2020, 12(11), 2572; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112572
Received: 13 October 2020 / Revised: 29 October 2020 / Accepted: 30 October 2020 / Published: 2 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Micelles II)
The careful design of nanoparticles, in terms of size and morphology, is of great importance to developing effective drug delivery systems. The ability to precisely tailor nanoparticles in size and morphology during polymer self-assembly was therefore investigated. Four poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(N-2-benzoyloxypropyl methacrylamide) mPEG-b-p(HPMA-Bz) block copolymers with a fixed hydrophilic block of mPEG 5 kDa and a varying molecular weight of the hydrophobic p(HPMA-Bz) block (A: 17.1, B: 10.0, C: 5.2 and D: 2.7 kDa) were self-assembled into nanoparticles by nanoprecipitation under well-defined flow conditions, using microfluidics, at different concentrations. The nanoparticles from polymer A, increased in size from 55 to 90 nm using lower polymer concentrations and slower flow rates and even polymer vesicles were formed along with micelles. Similarly, nanoparticles from polymer D increased in size from 35 to 70 nm at slower flow rates and also formed vesicles along with micelles, regardless of the used concentration. Differently, polymers B and C mainly self-assembled into micelles at the different applied flow rates with negligible size difference. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the self-assembly of mPEG-b-p(HPMA-Bz) block copolymers can be easily tailored in size and morphology using microfluidics and is therefore an attractive option for further scaled-up production activities. View Full-Text
Keywords: block copolymers; nanoparticles; micelles; polymersomes; HPMA; size control; nanoprecipitation; microfluidics; micromixer block copolymers; nanoparticles; micelles; polymersomes; HPMA; size control; nanoprecipitation; microfluidics; micromixer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bresseleers, J.; Bagheri, M.; Lebleu, C.; Lecommandoux, S.; Sandre, O.; Pijpers, I.A.B.; Mason, A.F.; Meeuwissen, S.; Nostrum, C.F.; Hennink, W.E.; Hest, J.C. Tuning Size and Morphology of mPEG-b-p(HPMA-Bz) Copolymer Self-Assemblies Using Microfluidics. Polymers 2020, 12, 2572.

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