skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on October 20, 2018

Title: Three-Dimensional Microphase Separation and Synergistic Permeability in Stacked Lipid–Polymer Hybrid Membranes

Here, we present new structures of soft-material thin films that augment the functionality of substrate-mediated delivery systems. A hybrid material composed of phospholipids and block copolymers adopts a multilayered membrane structure supported on a solid surface. The hybrid films comprise intentional intramembrane heterogeneities that register across multilayers. These stacked domains convey unprecedented enhancement and control of permeability of solutes across micrometer-thick films. Using grazing incidence X-ray scattering, phase contrast atomic force microscopy, and confocal microscopy, we observed that in each lamella, lipid and polymers partition unevenly within the membrane plane segregating into lipid- or polymer-rich domains. Interestingly, we found evidence that like-domains align in registry across multilayers, thereby making phase separation three-dimensional. Phase boundaries exist over extended length scales to compensate the height mismatch between lipid and polymer molecules. We show that microphase separation in hybrid films can be exploited to augment the capability of drug-eluting substrates. Lipid–polymer hybrid films loaded with paclitaxel show synergistic permeability of drug compared to single-component counterparts. We present a thorough structural study of stacked lipid–polymer hybrid membranes and propose that the presence of registered domains and domain boundaries impart enhanced drug release functionality. This work offers new perspectives in designing thin films for controlledmore » delivery applications« less
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL (United States)
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Chemistry of Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 29; Journal Issue: 21; Journal ID: ISSN 0897-4756
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
National Institutes of Health (NIH); National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; interlayer stacked domains; lipid domains; lipid-polymer hybrids; multilayer membranes; paclitaxel; permeability
OSTI Identifier: