Depletion induced vesicle-to-micelle transition from self-assembled rod-coil diblock copolymers with spherical magnetic nanoparticles

Abstract : This article describes the structural transition undergone by a vesicle forming diblock copolymer made of a hydrophobic poly(gamma-benzyl-L-glutamate) sequence with helical secondary structure and of a hydrophilic poly[2-(dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate] block when inserting hydrophobic iron oxide nanoparticles to impart magnetic properties in addition to pH-and temperature-responsiveness. Dispersed within the hydrophobic rod-like polymer domains, the quasi-spherical particles experience depletion attraction, leading to microphase separation and finally to transition from vesicles to hybrid core-shell micelles. Such combination of self-assembly with excluded-volume effects, also present in living systems and giving rise to such a large structural diversity and functionality, can be integrated in materials science towards the design of original nanostructures.
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Willy Agut, Daniel Taton, Annie Brûlet, Olivier Sandre, Sébastien Lecommandoux. Depletion induced vesicle-to-micelle transition from self-assembled rod-coil diblock copolymers with spherical magnetic nanoparticles. Soft Matter, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2011, 7 (20), pp.9744-9750. ⟨10.1039/c1sm05638g⟩. ⟨hal-00668996⟩

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