Self-Assembling Amphiphilic Hyperbranched Polyglycerol-Polystyrene Copolymers for Encapsulation

Dawn Ernenwein, Ariane M. Vartanian, Steven C. Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phospholipids, dendrimers, and polymers are each able to assemble to form vesicles, but each has limitations such as leakiness and multistep syntheses. A new class of versatile amphiphilic block copolymers is reported containing hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG) and polystyrene (PS) units. These compounds self-assemble into polymersomes (HPGsomes). Under solvent exchange methods, amphiphilic polystyrene-HPG diblock (PS-b-HPG) structures are self-assembled and characterized by transmission electron microscopy. The assemblies are robust up to 95 °C in polar, protic solvents, and encapsulate dyes with minimal release. Polymersomes are typically assembled from linear amphiphilic polymers; however, it is shown that combining linear and hyperbranched polymers is a feasible strategy to encapsulation. Amphiphilic block copolymers prepared by clicking polystyrene azide to alkyne-initiated hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG) self-assemble into stable vesicles called "HPGsomes." These HPGsome encapsulate dyes and are quite stable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1729-1736
Number of pages8
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • amphiphiles
  • hyperbranched
  • polymersome
  • self-assembly
  • vesicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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