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Complex coacervate core micelles (C3Ms) are promising encapsulators for a wide variety of (bio)molecules. They form when charged-neutral diblock copolymers are mixed with oppositely charged macro-ions. The formation of the complex coacervate phase is based on electrostatic attraction. As a result, the C3Ms can respond to environmental changes like changes in salt concentration or pH. The charged species form the core of the micelle. The neutral blocks form the micelle corona around the core. The neutral blocks prevent coalescence of the micelles and can protect the core components against external elements. Their small and well-defined size, their protective properties and their ability to respond to environmental triggers make the C3Ms promising encapsulators for different compounds. They have for example been used for encapsulation of DNA, proteins, small charged drugs and imaging contrast agents and in this way can among others be used as medicine or gene delivery tools.
The dynamics of C3Ms plays a large role in their application as encapsulators. First, their molecular exchange determines how often core components are exposed to their surroundings and thus the level of protection that the C3M offers. In addition, in some cases, the C3M formation dynamics can affect their structure. In this thesis, we aim to further unravel the C3M dynamics. We start from their formation kinetics and gradually transition to their equilibrium exchange.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||13 May 2022|
|Place of Publication||Wageningen|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|