Rapid, scalable assembly and loading of bioactive proteins and immunostimulants into diverse synthetic nanocarriers via flash nanoprecipitation

Sean Allen, Michael Vincent, Evan Scott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Nanomaterials present a wide range of options to customize the controlled delivery of single and combined molecular payloads for therapeutic and imaging applications. This increased specificity can have significant clinical implications, including decreased side effects and lower dosages with higher potency. Furthermore, the in situ targeting and controlled modulation of specific cell subsets can enhance in vitro and in vivo investigations of basic biological phenomena and probe cell function. Unfortunately, the required expertise in nanoscale science, chemistry and engineering often prohibit laboratories without experience in these fields from fabricating and customizing nanomaterials as tools for their investigations or vehicles for their therapeutic strategies. Here, we provide protocols for the synthesis and scalable assembly of a versatile non-toxic block copolymer system amenable to the facile formation and loading of nanoscale vehicles for biomedical applications. Flash nanoprecipitation is presented as a methodology for rapid fabrication of diverse nanocarriers from poly(ethylene glycol)-bl-poly(propylene sulfide) copolymers. These protocols will allow laboratories with a wide range of expertise and resources to easily and reproducibly fabricate advanced nanocarrier delivery systems for their applications. The design and construction of an automated instrument that employs a high-speed syringe pump to facilitate the flash nanoprecipitation process and to allow enhanced control over the homogeneity, size, morphology and loading of polymersome nanocarriers is described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere57793
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number138
StatePublished - Aug 11 2018


  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterial
  • Block copolymer
  • Controlled delivery
  • Fabrication
  • Flash nanoprecipitation
  • Issue 138
  • Nanocarrier
  • Nanomaterial
  • Polymer
  • Self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Neuroscience


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