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Photoresponsive polymersomes as smart, triggerable nanocarriers

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2011
Author Cabane E., Malinova V., Menon S., Palivan C. G., Meier W.,
Project Nanostructured Polymers
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Soft Matter
Volume (Issue) 7(19)
Page(s) 9167 - 9176
Title of proceedings Soft Matter
DOI 10.1039/C1sm05880k

Open Access


The need for sophisticated systems to improve drug delivery to the body is growing, as is the complexity of therapeutic agents available to treat a variety of conditions. Among the requirements for intelligent drug delivery systems (DDS), responsiveness is highly desirable as a means to control pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Here, we study the potential of polymeric vesicles obtained from the self-assembly of a photocleavable amphiphilic block copolymer as a light-triggered DDS. The vesicles disintegrate upon UV irradiation, yielding small micellar-like structures, and simultaneously releasing their payload. The versatility of our system is tested both for low molecular weight molecules (fluorescein and ATTO655 dye), and for proteins (enhanced green fluorescent protein). By varying the UV intensity, the payload is released in a controlled manner, as established by fluorescence spectroscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. Therefore, these responsive polymer vesicles serve as smart, triggerable nanocarriers that can be applied to a variety of payloads, ranging from conventional drug molecules to proteins, enzymes, or DNA.