Micelle response to changes in solvent properties
The dynamics of co-polymer systems play an important role in the preparation and stability of formulations, as well as on their capability to function in drug delivery systems. Micelle inversion can occur as a result of a change in concentration when a solvent is very volatile and evaporates, or as a result of a change in solvent quality upon addition of another solvent to the original solution, or upon changes in pH. In this work, dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) is used to examine the dynamics of micelle inversion in concentrated systems of diblock and triblock amphiphiles, where interactions between neighboring aggregates are observed. Significant differences were observed in the inversion process of different amphiphilic molecules, with a large amount of co-polymer exchange between inverting aggregates made of diblock amphiphiles, and practically no exchange of molecules between aggregates during the inversion of triblock copolymer aggregates. Fundamental mechanisms of inversion are revealed that provide information which can be used to help design micelles for targeted drug release and allow understanding of history dependant formulations.