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Dewetting-Induced Membrane Formation by Adhesion of Amphiphile-Laden Interfaces

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journal contribution
posted on 30.03.2011 by Ho Cheung Shum, Enric Santanach-Carreras, Jin-Woong Kim, Allen Ehrlicher, Jerome Bibette, David A. Weitz
We introduce an approach for forming bilayer polymer membranes by adhesion of amphiphile-laden interfaces. This adhesion is induced by a reduction of solvent quality for the amphiphilic diblock copolymers through selective evaporation of good solvent in the solvent mixture. By combining this membrane formation mechanism with a double-emulsion-templated approach for vesicle formation, we fabricate monodisperse polymersomes that exhibit excellent membrane uniformity, and structural stability, using a method that has high encapsulation efficiency. Moreover, we also show that the technique is versatile and can be applied to different block copolymers. The ability to direct the assembly of amphiphiles into a membrane creates new opportunities to engineer the structures of vesicles on the level of the individual bilayer leaflets.