Incorporation of block copolymer micelles into multilayer films for use as nanodelivery systems

Timothy Addison, Olivier J. Cayre, Simon Biggs, Steven P. Armes, David York

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This work demonstrates the potential application of stimulus responsive block copolymer micelles as triggerable delivery systems for use within multilayer films. Cationic, pH-responsive micelles of poly[2-(dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate-block-poly(2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate)] (PDMA-PDEA) were deposited on anionic polystyrene latex particles. The charge reversal of the surface and the amount of adsorbed polymer were monitored by zeta potential measurements and colloidal titrations, respectively. Prior to adsorption, the PDMA-PDEA micelles were loaded with a hydrophobic dye, and Uv-vis spectroscopy was used to determine the amount of dye encapsulated within a monolayer of micelles. It was found that subtle chemical modification of the PDMA-PDEA diblock copolymer via permanent quaternization of the PDEA block results in micelles with tunable loading capacities. Multilayers of cationic micelles of partially quaternized PDMA-PDEA and anionic polyelectrolyte (poly(sodium 4-styrene sulfonate)) were deposited on the surface of polystyrene latex particles by sequential adsorption. Uv-vis analysis of the dye present within the multilayer after the addition of each layer demonstrates that the micelles are sufficiently robust to retain encapsulated dye after multiple adsorption/washing cycles and can thus create a film that can be increasingly loaded with dye as more micelle layers are adsorbed. Multiple washing cycles were performed on micellar monolayers of PDMA-PDEA to demonstrate how such systems can be used to bring about triggerable release of actives. When performing several consecutive washing steps at pH 9.3, the micelle structure of the PDMA-PDEA micelles in the monolayer is retained, resulting in only a small reduction in the amount of encapsulated dye. In contrast, washing at pH 4, the structure of the micelle layers is severely disrupted, resulting in a fast release of the encapsulated dye into the bulk. Finally, if a sufficient number of micelle/homopolyelectrolyte layers are adsorbed, it is possible to selectively dissolve the latex template, resulting in hollow capsules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13328-13333
Number of pages6
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


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