Emerging Applications of Polymersomes in Delivery: from Molecular Dynamics to Shrinkage of Tumors

Prog Polym Sci. 2007 Aug 1;32(8-9):838-857. doi: 10.1016/j.progpolymsci.2007.05.011.


Polymersomes are self-assembled shells of amphiphilic block copolymers that are currently being developed by many groups for fundamental insights into the nature of self-assembled states as well as for a variety of potential applications. While recent reviews have highlighted distinctive properties - particularly stability - that are strongly influenced by both copolymer type and polymer molecular weight, here we first review some of the more recent developments in computational molecular dynamics (MD) schemes that lend insight into assembly. We then review polymersome loading, in vivo stealthiness, degradation-based disassembly for controlled release, and even tumor-shrinkage in vivo. Comparisons of polymersomes with viral capsids are shown to encompass and inspire many aspects of current designs.

Keywords: amphiphile; block copolymers; controlled release; liposomes; nanoparticles.