A novel method for the encapsulation of biomolecules into polymersomes via direct hydration

Conlin P. O'Neil, Tomoake Suzuki, Davide Demurtas, Andrija Finka, Jeffrey A. Hubbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


One of the major engineering challenges for the implementation of block copolymer vesicles, or polymersomes, as therapeutic drug carriers is obtaining high encapsulation efficiencies for biomolecules. Here we present a novel method for encapsulation of proteins with high encapsulation efficiency within polymersomes formed from block copolymers of polyethylene glycol)-bl- poly(propylene sulfide). By formulation of the neat block copolymer with a low molecular weight polyethylene glycol), direct hydration of the formulated mixture yielded polymersomes. We were able to achieve encapsulation efficiencies for ovalbumin at 37%, bovine serum albumin at 19%, and bovine y-globulin at 15% when the proteins were included in the hydration solution. The formulation process and the dispersion of polymersomes from the preparation in phosphate-buffered saline were characterized using confocal microscopy, cryogenic transmission electron microscopy, and fluorimetry. We were also successful in the encapsulation of proteinase K, a proteolytic enzyme, and demonstrated by SDS-PAGE that the enzyme was contained inside polymersomes when dispersed in a solution of ovalbumin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9025-9029
Number of pages5
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 18 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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