Oxidation-responsive polymeric vesicles

Alessandro Napoli, Massimiliano Valentini, Nicola Tirelli*, Martin Müller, Jeffrey A. Hubbell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

719 Citations (SciVal)


Vesicles formed in water by synthetic macro-amphiphiles have attracted much attention as nanocontainers having properties that extend the physical and chemical limits of liposomes. We sought to develop ABA block copolymeric amphiphiles that self-assemble into unilamellar vesicles that can be further oxidatively destabilized. We selected poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) as the hydrophilic A blocks, owing to its resistance to protein adsorption and low toxicity. As hydrophobic B blocks, we selected poly(propylene sulphide) (PPS), owing to its extreme hydrophobicity, its low glass-transition temperature, and most importantly its oxidative conversion from a hydrophobe to a hydrophile, poly(propylene sulphoxide) and ultimately poly(propylene sulphone). This is the first example of the use of oxidative conversions to destabilize such carriers. This new class of oxidation-responsive polymeric vesicles may find applications as nanocontainers in drug delivery, biosensing and biodetection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-189
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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