Morphological diversity of block copolymer/lipid chimeric nanostructures
Different in nature biomaterials, which are used for the development of drug delivery nanosystems, could be mixed, in order to produce chimeric/mixed nanostructures. Their morphological characteristics and biophysical properties depend on the degree of association and interactions between the self-assembling biomaterials. For the purpose of this study, chimeric nanosystems composed of phospholipid and amphiphilic diblock copolymers were developed, at different molar ratios. Light scattering and imaging techniques were employed, in order to extract information on the nanostructure physicochemical characteristics and their morphology. Certain morphological characteristics were assessed for vesicle membranes, which are considered to be of paramount importance for their fate inside the physiological environment and their biophysical behavior. Besides vesicles, a variety of structures appeared in the phospholipid/copolymer chimeric systems, depending on both the composition and the concentration of the utilized polymer, declaring the lyotropic effect on the self-assembly of the biomaterials. The size range of most objects, including vesicles, was around 100 nm. Membrane irregularities, such as domains and rafts, are considered as functional biophysical factors, rendering liposomes appropriate artificial models for approaching various diseases on the level of living cell membranes. Such information is of paramount importance for the utilization of chimeric nanostructures in drug delivery and in therapy.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11051-017-4021-5
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