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Polymers 2017, 9(7), 275;

Structure of Amphiphilic Terpolymer Raspberry Vesicles

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW 7 2AZ, UK
Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Southwell Thermofluids Laboratory, Oxford OX2 OES, UK
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 9 July 2017
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Terpolymer raspberry vesicles contain domains of different chemical affinities. They are potential candidates as multi-compartment cargo carriers. Their efficacy depends on their stability and load capacity. Using a model star terpolymer system in an aqueous solution, a dissipative particle dynamic (DPD) simulation is employed to investigate how equilibrium aggregate structures are affected by polymer concentration and pairwise interaction energy in a solution. It is shown that a critical mass of polymer is necessary for vesicle formation. The free energy of the equilibrium aggregates are calculated and the results show that the transition from micelles to vesicles is governed by the interactions between the longest solvophobic block and the solvent. In addition, the ability of vesicles to encapsulate solvent is assessed. It is found that reducing the interaction energy favours solvent encapsulation, although solvent molecules can permeate through the vesicle’s shell when repulsive interactions among monomers are low. Thus, one can optimize the loading capacity and the release rate of the vesicles by turning pairwise interaction energies of the polymer and the solvent. The ability to predict and control these aspects of the vesicles is an essential step towards designing vesicles for specific purposes. View Full-Text
Keywords: raspberry vesicles; DPD simulations; star terpolymer; equilibrium structures; cargo release raspberry vesicles; DPD simulations; star terpolymer; equilibrium structures; cargo release

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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. Structure of Amphiphilic Terpolymer Raspberry Vesicles. Polymers 2017, 9, 275.

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