Vesicles from Pluronic L121 (PEO5-PPO68-PEO5) triblock copolymers were first stabilized by a permanent interpenetrating polymer network and then gently immobilized onto a glass or mica surface. Fluorescence-labeled micrometer-sized vesicles were visualized with confocal laser scanning microscopy, and smaller sized capsules, around 100 nm, were probed by liquid atomic force microscopy. The immobilized vesicles were weakly attached to a negatively charged surface via negatively charged polyelectrolytes in combination with Mg2+ ions and can be reversibly detached from the surface by slightly elevated temperatures. To illustrate that the immobilized vesicles remain responsive to external stimuli, we show that it is possible to transform their shape from spherical to cylindrical by introducing a second Pluronic, namely, P123 (PEO20-PPO70-PEO20). The detailed transition process has been recorded in real time by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Electron microscopy studies confirmed that a similar morphology change also occurs in the bulk.
- atomic-force microscopy