Self-assembly of an amphiphilic macromolecule under spherical confinement: An efficient route to generate hollow nanospheres

AA Glagoleva and VV Vasilevskaya and K Yoshikawa and AR Khokhlov, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 139, 244901 (2013).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4839795

In general, bio-macromolecules are composed of hydrophilic and hydrophobic moieties and are confined within small cavities, such as cell membranes and intracellular organelles. Here, we studied the self- organization of macromolecules having groups with different affinities to solvents under spherical nano-scale confinement by means of computer modeling. It is shown that depending on the interaction parameters of monomer units composed of side-and main-chain monomer groups along a single linear macromolecule and on cavity size, such amphiphilic polymers undergo the conformational transitions between hollow nanospheres, rod-like and folded cylindrical structures, and a necklace conformation with and without a particular ordering of beads. The diagram of the conformations in the variables the incompatibility parameter of monomer units and the cavity radius is constructed. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

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