Facile assembly and loading of theranostic polymersomes via multi-impingement flash nanoprecipitation

Sean Allen, Omar Osorio, Yu Gang Liu, Evan Scott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Flash nanoprecipitation (FNP) has proven to be a powerful tool for the rapid and scalable assembly of solid-core nanoparticles from block copolymers. The process can be performed using a simple confined impingement jets mixer and provides an efficient and reproducible method of loading micelles with hydrophobic drugs. To date, FNP has not been applied for the fabrication of complex or vesicular nanoarchitectures capable of encapsulating hydrophilic molecules or bioactive protein therapeutics. Here, we present FNP as a single customizable method for the assembly of bicontinuous nanospheres, filomicelles and vesicular, multilamellar and tubular polymersomes from poly(ethylene glycol)-bl-poly(propylene sulfide) block copolymers. Multiple impingements of polymersomes assembled via FNP were shown to decrease vesicle diameter and polydispersity, allowing gram-scale fabrication of monodisperse polymersomes within minutes. Furthermore, we demonstrate that FNP supports the simultaneous loading of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules respectively into the polymersome membrane and aqueous lumen, and encapsulated enzymes were found to be released and remain active following vesicle lysis. As an example application, theranostic polymersomes were generated via FNP that were dual loaded with the immunosuppressant rapamycin and a fluorescent dye to link targeted immune cells with the elicited immunomodulation of T cells. By expanding the capabilities of FNP, we present a rapid, scalable and reproducible method of nanofabrication for a wide range of nanoarchitectures that are typically challenging to assemble and load with therapeutics for controlled delivery and theranostic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-103
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
StatePublished - Sep 28 2017


  • Block copolymer
  • Drug delivery
  • Flash nanoprecipitation
  • Polymersome
  • Self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Facile assembly and loading of theranostic polymersomes via multi-impingement flash nanoprecipitation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this