Biodegradable polymersomes as a basis for artificial cells: encapsulation, release and targeting

Fenghua Meng, G.H.M. Engbers, Jan Feijen

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190 Citations (Scopus)


The encapsulation of biofunctional compounds, release properties and targetability of polymersomes of amphiphilic block-copolymers based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and biodegradable polyesters or polycarbonate are described. Carboxyfluorescein (CF), as a model for hydrophilic biofunctional compounds, could be readily incorporated in the polymersomes by adding the compound to the aqueous phase during polymersome preparation. The release of encapsulated material from the polymersomes can be adjusted by changing the copolymer composition, especially the molecular weight and type of hydrophobic block of the copolymer. The presence of plasma proteins other than albumin suppressed the release of CF. CF release in PBS both at room temperature and at 60 °C followed first order kinetics, confirming that the CF containing polymersome system is a membrane controlled reservoir system. These biodegradable polymersomes have the potential to be targeted to specific sites in the body as shown by the specific interaction of anti-human serum albumin immobilized polymersomes with a human serum albumin coated sensor surface.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)187-198
JournalJournal of controlled release
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2005


  • Block copolymers
  • Artificial cells
  • Carboxyfluorescein
  • IR-76639
  • METIS-230084
  • Biodegradable polymersomes

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