Tailoring Polymersome Shape Using the Hofmeister Effect

Reshaping polymersomes remains a challenge for both size and shape control, methodology development, and mechanism understanding, which hindered their application in nanomedicine and nanomachine. Unlike liposome, polymersomes are capable of maintaining their shape due to their rigid and glassy membrane. Here we use the Hofmeister effect to guide the shape control of polymersome by tuning the ion type and concentration. Multiple morphologies such as ellipsoid, tube, disc, stomatocytes, and large compound vesicles are found. These results give evidence of demonstrating that the shape changes are not only induced by osmotic pressure, but also by the interaction with the polymersome membranes. Additionally, this methodology provides a general tool to tailor the shape of polymersome into various morphologies.