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Advanced Materials

Vesicles and Liposomes: A Self-Assembly Principle Beyond Lipids


  • We cordially thank all our co-workers over the years for all the fun we have had with science. Support by the University of Hamburg, the Max Planck Society, and the FCI is gratefully acknowledged.


This Progress Report describes the latest advances in vesicles and liposomes. Recent work on the self-assembly of complex polymer systems shows that the formation of polymer vesicles or closed hull structures is archetypal, leading to fascinating new possibilities and applications in materials science. A general view of the underlying self-assembly mechanisms leading to vesicles and the control of size, shape, and other vesicular properties by physicochemical means is presented, as background. This is followed by an overview of the recently described new classes of polymer and supramolecular tectons that make vesicle formation a more general phenomenon going beyond just lipids. Finally, the potential applications of vesicles, including non-lipid vesicles, are outlined.

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