Students: Annabel Latus and Sura Hassan, blogging our progress on research project at the University Of Hull.
Supervisors: Dr. Theoni Georgiou (Surfactant and Colloid Science), Negar Ghasdian (PhD student)
Today, after finally getting our COSHH forms signed, we began work in the lab.
Our full day consisted of preparing 1% solutions of various polymers. Each solution had to weigh ~10g which meant that in each vial, 9.9g of Milli-Q water was added to 0.1g of polymer.
- 13 vials were rinsed with acetone and placed in an oven to dry.
- After drying, the vials were left to cool down to room temperature.
- The scales were tared. A magnetic stirrer was placed in a vial, and the mass of both the vial and the stirrer were measured and noted in a table.
- With the vial still on the scales, it was tared again. 0.1g of polymer was added to the vial. The weight was noted down in a table.
- Milli-Q water was added until the scales read approximately 10g.
- The vial containing the solution was then sealed and labelled.
- This was done 13 times (for 13 different types of polymer), with the spatulas used to obtain the polymers being rinsed with acetone after each use.
- 2 drops of concentrated HCl was added to solutions P1-P9.
- All 13 vials were placed on a hot-plate stirrer.
Polymersomes are a class of synthetic vesicles formed from the self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers. These polymeric vesicles are hollow spheres with a hydrophobic bilayer membrane and hydrophilic internal and external coronas with size ranging from 50 nm to 5 µm or more (first image). Polymersomes have gained a lot of interest because unlike polymeric micelles they have the ability to deliver both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs (second image). In this study, novel methods of fabricating polymersomes using water in water emulsions will be investigated.
Figure: first) Polymersomes picture, second) Schemicatic representation of a polymersome, based on an amphiphilic diblock copolymers.