Multi-Shell Hollow Nanogels with Responsive Shell Permeability

AJ Schmid and J Dubbert and AA Rudov and JS Pedersen and P Lindner and M Karg and II Potemkin and W Richtering, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 6, 22736 (2016).

DOI: 10.1038/srep22736

We report on hollow shell-shell nanogels with two polymer shells that have different volume phase transition temperatures. By means of small angle neutron scattering (SANS) employing contrast variation and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations we show that hollow shell-shell nanocontainers are ideal systems for controlled drug delivery: The temperature responsive swelling of the inner shell controls the uptake and release, while the thermoresponsive swelling of the outer shell controls the size of the void and the colloidal stability. At temperatures between 32 degrees C < T < 42 degrees C, the hollow nanocontainers provide a significant void, which is even larger than the initial core size of the template, and they possess a high colloidal stability due to the steric stabilization of the swollen outer shell. Computer simulations showed, that temperature induced switching of the permeability of the inner shell allows for the encapsulation in and release of molecules from the cavity.

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