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One-pot RAFT and fast polymersomes assembly: a ‘beeline’ from monomers to drug-loaded nanovectors

Mastrotto, Francesca; Breen, A. F.; Sicilia, G.; Murdan, S.; Johnstone, Alexander D.; Marsh, Georgina E.; Grainger-Boultby, Christine; Russell, Noah A.; Alexander, Cameron; Mantovani, Giuseppe

One-pot RAFT and fast polymersomes assembly: a ‘beeline’ from monomers to drug-loaded nanovectors Thumbnail


Francesca Mastrotto

A. F. Breen

G. Sicilia

S. Murdan

Alexander D. Johnstone

Georgina E. Marsh

Christine Grainger-Boultby

Noah A. Russell


Rapid and simple routes to functional polymersomes are increasingly needed to expand their clinical or industrial applications. Here we describe a novel strategy where polymersomes are prepared through an in-line process in just a few hours, starting from simple acrylate or acrylamide monomers. Using Perrier's protocol, well-defined amphiphilic diblock copolymers formed from PEG acrylate (mPEGA480), 2-(acryloyloxy)ethyl-3-chloro-4-hydroxybenzoate (ACH) or 2-(3-chloro-4-hydroxybenzamido)ethyl acrylate (CHB), have been synthesised by RAFT polymerisation in one-pot, pushing the monomer conversion for each block close to completion (≥94%). The reaction mixture, consisting of green biocompatible solvents (ethanol/water) have then been directly utilised to generate well-defined polymersomes, by simple cannulation into water or in a more automated process, by using a bespoke microfluidic device. Terbinafine and cyanocobalamine were used to demonstrate the suitability of the process to incorporate model hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs, respectively. Vesicles size and morphology were characterised by DLS, TEM, and AFM. In this work we show that materials and experimental conditions can be chosen to allow facile and rapid generation drug-loaded polymersomes, through a suitable in-line process, directly from acrylate or acrylamide monomer building blocks.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 19, 2016
Online Publication Date Sep 20, 2016
Publication Date Sep 20, 2016
Deposit Date Oct 20, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 20, 2016
Journal Polymer Chemistry
Print ISSN 1759-9954
Electronic ISSN 1759-9962
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 44
Pages 6714-6724
Public URL
Publisher URL!divAbstract
Additional Information : This document is Similarity Check deposited; : Supplementary Information; : G. E. Marsh (ORCID); : G. E. Marsh (ResearcherID); : C. Alexander (ORCID); : The Royal Society of Chemistry has an exclusive publication licence for this journal; OPEN ACCESS: This article is freely available. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence (CC BY 3.0); : Single-blind; : Received 25 July 2016; Accepted 19 September 2016; Accepted Manuscript published 20 September 2016; Advance Article published 23 September 2016; Version of Record published 8 November 2016


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