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Title: The role of membrane fluidization in the gel-assisted formation of giant polymersomes

Polymersomes are being widely explored as synthetic analogs of lipid vesicles based on their enhanced stability and potential uses in a wide variety of applications in (e.g., drug delivery, cell analogs, etc.). Controlled formation of giant polymersomes for use in membrane studies and cell mimetic systems, however, is currently limited by low-yield production methodologies. Here, we describe for the first time, how the size distribution of giant poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(butadiene) (PEO-PBD) polymersomes formed by gel-assisted rehydration may be controlled based on membrane fluidization. We first show that the average diameter and size distribution of PEO-PBD polymersomes may be readily increased by increasing the temperature of the rehydration solution. Further, we describe a correlative relationship between polymersome size and membrane fluidization through the addition of sucrose during rehydration, enabling the formation of PEO-PBD polymersomes with a range of diameters, including giant-sized vesicles (>100 μm). This correlative relationship suggests that sucrose may function as a small molecule fluidizer during rehydration, enhancing polymer diffusivity during formation and increasing polymersome size. Altogether the ability to easily regulate the size of PEO-PBD polymersomes based on membrane fluidity, either through temperature or fluidizers, has broadly applicability in areas including targeted therapeutic delivery and synthetic biology.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Martin-Luther-Univ., Halle-Wittenberg (Germany)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203; 646370
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203
Public Library of Science
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; polymers; vesicles; fluorescence recovery after photobleaching; sucrose; lipids; gel electrophoresis; mass diffusivity; membrane potential
OSTI Identifier: