University of Pennsylvania2014-08-21 4:21 PM

Self-assembly of amphiphilic Janus dendrimers into uniform onion-like dendrimersomes with predictable size and number of bilayers


Simple injection of a solution of amphiphilic Janus dendrimer with specific primary structure into water or buffer has been shown to yield uniform submicrometer-size onion-like vesicles denoted dendrimersomes. The size and number of alternating internally confined bilayers is predicted by the final concentration of the Janus dendrimer. Onion-like dendrimersomes provide mimics of various biological membranes and can be elaborated to provide time-dependent delivery of drugs. Their ease of preparation contrasts with conventional methods used to make onion-like vesicles that are both complicated and time-consuming.


A constitutional isomeric library synthesized by a modular approach has been used to discover six amphiphilic Janus dendrimer primary structures, which self-assemble into uniform onion-like vesicles with predictable dimensions and number of internal bilayers. These vesicles, denoted onion-like dendrimersomes, are assembled by simple injection of a solution of Janus dendrimer in a water-miscible solvent into water or buffer. These dendrimersomes provide mimics of double-bilayer and multibilayer biological membranes with dimensions and number of bilayers predicted by the Janus compound concentration in water. The simple injection method of preparation is accessible without any special equipment, generating uniform vesicles, and thus provides a promising tool for fundamental studies as well as technological applications in nanomedicine and other fields.

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