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Entrapment of Metal Nanoparticles in Polymer Stomatocytes

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journal contribution
posted on 2012-06-20, 00:00 authored by Daniela A. Wilson, Roeland J. M. Nolte, Jan C. M. van Hest
Polymersomes assembled from amphiphilic block copolymers containing a glassy hydrophobic segment can be further re-engineered to perform a controlled shape transformation from a thermodynamically stable spherical morphology to a kinetically trapped stomatocyte structure. The stable bowl-shape stomatocyte morphology is ideal for the specific physical entrapment of nanoparticles for potential use in heterogeneous catalysis and drug delivery. Herein we report two approaches to obtain a selective and controlled entrapment of platinum nanoparticles (PtNP) of different sizes and shapes inside the stomatocyte structure. In the first approach, the stomach of the stomatocytes is used to template the growth of the PtNP by controlling and confining the nucleation points inside the cavity. In the second method, preformed nanoparticles are engulfed during the stomatocyte formation process. Synergistically, the reverse effect is observed, that is, differently shaped nanoparticles were shown to exhibit a templating effect on the stomach formation of the stomatocytes.