Tracking micelle formation for drug delivery

Utkur Mirsaidov et al. from National University of Singapore have recently tracked the formation of micelle and their encapsulation of gold nanoparticles in aqueous solution using Hummingbird Scientific liquid cell TEM holder. The study is published in Nanoscale.

In-situ observation of micelle formation in solution. Operando TEM image during the deposition of Mg. Image copyright © Royal Society of Chemistry 2019

The detailed mechanism of micelle formation is elusive, and is important for its use in the drug delivery.  Here, the researchers used liquid cell TEM to observe not only the formation of micelle but also the mechanism to encapsulate gold nanoparticles. The study showed that the amphiphilic block copolymers aggregate and rearrange to form a micelle around the hydrophobic rigid core – an important observation that can be extended to study other polymer-encapsulated nanoparticles.

Reference: Chang Li, Che Chen Tho, Daria Galaktionova, Xin Chen, Petr Král and Utkur Mirsaidov. ” Dynamics of amphiphilic block copolymers in an aqueous solution: direct imaging of micelle formation and nanoparticle encapsulation,” Nanoscale (2019). DOI: 10.1039/C8NR08922A

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