Preparation of Surfactant-Resistant Polymersomes with Ultrathick Membranes through RAFT Dispersion Polymerization

Ziyuan Song, Yinzhao Huang, Vikram Prasad, Ryan Baumgartner, Siyi Zhang, Keith Harris, Joshua S. Katz, Jianjun Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17033-17037
Number of pages5
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 13 2016


  • RAFT dispersion polymerization
  • anionic and nonionic surfactants
  • membrane thickness
  • polymersome
  • surfactant resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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