150–200 nm diameter capsules containing 60–70 wt% of poorly soluble drugs, paclitaxel and camptothecin, were produced by layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly on drug nanocores in a solution containing uncharged stabilizers. Optimization of capsule shell architecture and thickness allowed for concentrated colloids (3–5 mg mL−1) that are stable in isotonic salt buffers. Nanoparticle aggregation during the washless LbL-assembly was prevented by using low molecular weight block-copolymers of poly(amino acids) (poly-L-lysine and poly-L-glutamic acid) with polyethylene glycol (PEG) in combination with heparin and bovine serum albumin at every bilayer building step. Minimal amounts of the polyelectrolytes were used to recharge the surface of nanoparticles in this non-washing LbL process. Such PEGylated shells resulted in drug nanocapsules with high colloidal stability in PBS buffer and increased protein adhesion resistance. The washless LbL polyelectrolyte nanocapsule assembly process, colloidal stability and nanoparticle morphology were monitored by dynamic light scattering and electrophoretic mobility measurements, UV-vis spectroscopy, TEM, SEM and laser confocal microscopy imaging.
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