Polymer Directed Self-Assembly of pH-responsive Antioxidant Nanoparticles

Langmuir. 2015 Mar 31;31(12):3612-20. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.5b00213. Epub 2015 Mar 20.


We have developed pH-responsive, multifunctional nanoparticles based on encapsulation of an antioxidant, tannic acid (TA), using flash nanoprecipitation, a polymer directed self-assembly method. Formation of insoluble coordination complexes of tannic acid and iron during mixing drives nanoparticle assembly. Tuning the core material to polymer ratio, the size of the nanoparticles can be readily tuned between 50 and 265 nm. The resulting nanoparticle is pH-responsive, i.e., stable at pH 7.4 and soluble under acidic conditions due to the nature of the coordination complex. Further, the coordination complex can be coprecipitated with other hydrophobic materials such as therapeutics or imaging agents. For example, coprecipitation with a hydrophobic fluorescent dye creates fluorescent nanoparticles. In vitro, the nanoparticles have low cytotoxicity and show antioxidant activity. Therefore, these particles may facilitate intracellular delivery of antioxidants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Biological Transport
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Drug Carriers / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Iron / chemistry
  • Mice
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry*
  • Polystyrenes / chemistry*
  • Solubility
  • Tannins / chemistry*
  • Tannins / pharmacology
  • Water / chemistry


  • Antioxidants
  • Drug Carriers
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Polystyrenes
  • Tannins
  • Water
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Iron