Source:Journal of Controlled Release, Volume 262
Author(s): Sean Allen, Omar Osorio, Yu-Gang Liu, Evan Scott
Flash nanoprecipitation (FNP) has proven to be a powerful tool for the rapid and scalable assembly of solid-core nanoparticles from block copolymers. The process can be performed using a simple confined impingement jets mixer and provides an efficient and reproducible method of loading micelles with hydrophobic drugs. To date, FNP has not been applied for the fabrication of complex or vesicular nanoarchitectures capable of encapsulating hydrophilic molecules or bioactive protein therapeutics. Here, we present FNP as a single customizable method for the assembly of bicontinuous nanospheres, filomicelles and vesicular, multilamellar and tubular polymersomes from poly(ethylene glycol)-bl-poly(propylene sulfide) block copolymers. Multiple impingements of polymersomes assembled via FNP were shown to decrease vesicle diameter and polydispersity, allowing gram-scale fabrication of monodisperse polymersomes within minutes. Furthermore, we demonstrate that FNP supports the simultaneous loading of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules respectively into the polymersome membrane and aqueous lumen, and encapsulated enzymes were found to be released and remain active following vesicle lysis. As an example application, theranostic polymersomes were generated via FNP that were dual loaded with the immunosuppressant rapamycin and a fluorescent dye to link targeted immune cells with the elicited immunomodulation of T cells. By expanding the capabilities of FNP, we present a rapid, scalable and reproducible method of nanofabrication for a wide range of nanoarchitectures that are typically challenging to assemble and load with therapeutics for controlled delivery and theranostic strategies.
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