Biomimetic block copolymer particles with gated nanopores and ultrahigh protein sorption capacity
KAUST DepartmentAdvanced Membranes and Porous Materials Research Center
Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Environmental Science and Engineering Program
Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Chemical and Biological Engineering Program
Nanostructured Polymeric Membrane Lab
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AbstractThe design of micro-or nanoparticles that can encapsulate sensitive molecules such as drugs, hormones, proteins or peptides is of increasing importance for applications in biotechnology and medicine. Examples are micelles, liposomes and vesicles. The tiny and, in most cases, hollow spheres are used as vehicles for transport and controlled administration of pharmaceutical drugs or nutrients. Here we report a simple strategy to fabricate microspheres by block copolymer self-assembly. The microsphere particles have monodispersed nanopores that can act as pH-responsive gates. They contain a highly porous internal structure, which is analogous to the Schwarz P structure. The internal porosity of the particles contributes to their high sorption capacity and sustained release behaviour. We successfully separated similarly sized proteins using these particles. The ease of particle fabrication by macrophase separation and self-assembly, and the robustness of the particles makes them ideal for sorption, separation, transport and sustained delivery of pharmaceutical substances. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
SponsorsThe authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), and also thank Dr Ali Reza Behzad and Dr Lan Zhao from the Advanced Nanofabrication, Imaging and Characterization Lab at KAUST for help with the Cryo-FESEM and SEM.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
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