Surfactant-resistant polymersomes have substantial potential to be used as delivery vehicles in industrial applications. Herein, we report the preparation of poly(ethylene oxide)-block-polystyrene copolymers with ultrahigh hydrophobic-block molecular weights through RAFT dispersion polymerization, which allows the polymerization-induced self-assembly into well-defined polymersomes with ultrathick membranes up to ∼47 nm. These ultrathick membranes significantly enhance the resistance against surfactant solubilization of the vesicles, improving the vesicles' potential for use in industrial encapsulations. Vesicle-encapsulated actives are well retained in the presence of up to 40 wt % of various anionic and nonionic surfactants, with less than 7% active leakage being observed after 30 days.
- RAFT dispersion polymerization
- anionic and nonionic surfactants
- membrane thickness
- surfactant resistance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)