Inverse (water-in-oil) miniemulsions are an important method to encapsulate hydrophilic payloads such as oligonucleotides or peptides. However, the stabilization of inverse miniemulsions usually requires block copolymers that are difficult to synthesize and/or cannot be easily removed after transfer from a hydrophobic continuous phase to an aqueous continuous phase. We describe here a new strategy for the synthesis of a surfactant for inverse miniemulsions by radical addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization, which consists in a homopolymer with triisopropylsilyl protecting groups. The protecting groups ensure the efficient stabilization of the inverse (water-in-oil, w/o) miniemulsions. Nanocapsules can be formed and the protecting group can be subsequently cleaved for the re-dispersion of nanocapsules in an aqueous medium with a minimal amount of additional surfactant.
- Phase transfer
- Radical addition fragmentation transfer polymerization