Recent trends in the tuning of polymersomes’ membrane properties
ENSCBP, Université de Bordeaux/IPB, 16 avenue Pey Berland, 33607, Pessac Cedex, France
2 Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques (UMR5629), CNRS, Pessac, France
Accepted: 5 January 2011
Published online: 16 February 2011
“Polymersomes” are vesicular structures made from the self-assembly of block copolymers. Such structures present outstanding interest for different applications such as micro- or nano-reactor, drug release or can simply be used as tool for understanding basic biological mechanisms. The use of polymersomes in such applications is strongly related to the way their membrane properties are controlled and tuned either by a precise molecular design of the constituting block or by addition of specific components inside the membrane (formulation approaches). Typical membrane properties of polymersomes obtained from the self-assembly of “coil coil” block copolymer since the end of the nineties will be first briefly reviewed and compared to those of their lipidic analogues, named liposomes. Therefore the different approaches able to modulate their permeability, mechanical properties or ability to release loaded drugs, using macromolecular engineering or formulations, are detailed. To conclude, the most recent advances to modulate the polymersomes’ properties and systems that appear very promising especially for biomedical application or for the development of complex and bio-mimetic structures are presented.
© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2011