Wednesday, May 22, 2013

1305.4798 (Jérôme G. J. L. Lebouille et al.)

Self-consistent field predictions for quenched spherical biocompatible
triblock copolymer micelles

Jérôme G. J. L. Lebouille, Remco Tuinier, Leo F. W. Vleugels, Martien A. Cohen Stuart, Frans A. M. Leermakers
We have used the Scheutjens-Fleer self-consistent field (SF-SCF) method to predict the self-assembly of triblock copolymers with a solvophilic middle block and sufficiently long solvophobic outer blocks. We model copolymers consisting of polyethylene oxide (PEO) as solvophilic block and poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) or poly({\ko}-caprolactone) (PCL) as solvophobic block. These copolymers form structurally quenched spherical micelles provided the solvophilic block is long enough. Predictions are calibrated on experimental data for micelles composed of PCL-PEO-PCL and PLGA-PEO-PLGA triblock copolymers prepared via the nanoprecipitation method. We establish effective interaction parameters that enable us to predict various micelle properties such as the hydrodynamic size, the aggregation number and the loading capacity of the micelles for hydrophobic species that are consistent with experimental finding.
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