Membrane folding and shape transformation in biomimetic vesicles†
Polymeric self-assembled structures have been a topic of interest in the last few decades, specifically for the use of biomedical applications, such as drug delivery. It is exciting to investigate the formation of various shapes and sizes of such structures, as the morphology is crucial for their function. In this manuscript the important factors to control the morphology during self-assembly and subsequent shape transformation processes are discussed. We describe the main parameters to control and show the practical application of these parameters on biodegradable amphiphilic PEG-PDLLA block-copolymers. Thereby a variety of different morphologies, including micelles, worms, LCVs, discs, rods, stomatocytes, nested vesicles, and spherical vesicles of various sizes are created using only four diblock-copolymers and with careful tuning of two organic solvents. Further advances will lead to formation of more complex structures.