Self-Assembly of Janus Dendrimers into Uniform Dendrimersomes and Other Complex Architectures

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Science  21 May 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5981, pp. 1009-1014
DOI: 10.1126/science.1185547

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Self-assembled nanostructures obtained from natural and synthetic amphiphiles serve as mimics of biological membranes and enable the delivery of drugs, proteins, genes, and imaging agents. Yet the precise molecular arrangements demanded by these functions are difficult to achieve. Libraries of amphiphilic Janus dendrimers, prepared by facile coupling of tailored hydrophilic and hydrophobic branched segments, have been screened by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy, revealing a rich palette of morphologies in water, including vesicles, denoted dendrimersomes, cubosomes, disks, tubular vesicles, and helical ribbons. Dendrimersomes marry the stability and mechanical strength obtainable from polymersomes with the biological function of stabilized phospholipid liposomes, plus superior uniformity of size, ease of formation, and chemical functionalization. This modular synthesis strategy provides access to systematic tuning of molecular structure and of self-assembled architecture.

  • Present address: DuPont Central Research and Development, Wilmington, DE 19880, USA.

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