Tuning the membrane properties of functional polymersomes developed by aqueous polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA)

Varlas, Spyridon ORCID: 0000-0002-4171-7572 (2020). Tuning the membrane properties of functional polymersomes developed by aqueous polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA). University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Lipid bilayer membranes with precisely programmed properties play a vital role in most biological processes, enabling structural organization, confinement and communication on both a cellular and subcellular level. Self-assembled synthetic analogues, such as liposomes and polymersomes, have been widely investigated as simplified biomimetic models, providing a deeper understanding of fundamental membrane functions. The primary aim of this thesis was to explore novel methodologies for tuning the physicochemical membrane characteristics of functional polymersomes developed via aqueous polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) and highlight their potential application in biomimicry. In particular, PISA was employed for in situ preparation of block copolymer nano-objects at high concentrations throughout this thesis, owing to its robustness, versatility, and high reproducibility. Importantly, highly efficient strategies were established herein that afforded fine control over various properties of the prepared nanostructures, including the thickness, hydrophobicity, permeability, rigidity, and functionality of their membranes. Moreover, polymersomes of controllable size and shape could be also obtained depending on the experimental procedure followed. The outlined findings and identified trends were used for studying different communication and transport mechanisms within or between these nanocompartments, mediated either via passive diffusion of small molecules across selectively permeable membranes of catalytic nanoreactors or via intervesicular fusion events, and are expected to set the groundwork for future studies in biocatalysis and therapeutic delivery.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
O'Reilly, Rachel K.UNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0002-1043-7172
Dove, Andrew P.UNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0001-8208-9309
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Chemistry
Funders: European Research Council
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QD Chemistry
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/10619


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