Double-hydrophilic block copolymer self-assembly

In modern polymer science polymeric drug carriers are thoroughly investigated with the goal of high bioavailability and specificity, e.g. to reduce the applied doses and to deliver the drugs exactly to the right place in the body in order to reduce side effects. Frequently amphiphilic block copolymers are utilized in that regard, yet their biocompatibility and future approval as medicine additive are questionable. An approach to the solution of these problems and an extension of polymeric drug delivery agents towards more complex drugs is investigated in our group. We study the self-assembly behavior of double hydrophilic block copolymers (DHBC) in aqueous solution. For the synthesis of the underlying polymer materials we utilize controlled radical polymerization as well as modular ligation techniques. Our main aim is to form these polymers from non-toxic biocompatible building blocks. The formed self-assemblies will have significantly different drug release profiles especially for novel types of drugs and other carriers, e.g. proteins or nanogels. After DHBC vesicle formation, drug release kinetics, novel crosslinking techniques and the biodegradation of the structures will be studied. The development of DHBC-based drug delivery systems will open a new field in polymeric drug-delivery and lead to further progress in the field. Additionally, the development of novel transport carriers will have significant impact on drug discovery itself.

Moreover, we investigate novel crosslinking methods for the formed self-assemblies as well as their microstructure. Another topic we are interested in is the utilization DHBC self-assemblies for nano reactors that might be useful for enzyme therapy.

Bernhard V. K. J. Schmidt, "Double hydrophilic block copolymer self-assembly in aqueous solution," Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 219 (7), 1700494 (2018).
Jochen Willersinn, Anna Bogomolova, Marc Brunet Cabré, and Bernhard V. K. J. Schmidt, "Vesicles of double hydrophilic pullulan and poly(acrylamide) block copolymers: a combination of synthetic- and bio-derived blocks," Polymer Chemistry 8 (7), 1244-1254 (2017).
Noah Al Nakeeb, Jochen Willersinn, and Bernhard V. K. J. Schmidt, "Self-assembly behavior and biocompatible cross-linking of double hydrophilic linear-brush block copolymers," Biomacromolecules 18 (11), 3695-3705 (2017).
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