Biomimetic pH Sensitive Polymersomes for Efficient DNA Encapsulation and Delivery


  • We thank the Department of Engineering Materials, University of Sheffield for funding part of this work. SPA is the recipient of a five-year Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award. Irene Canton is funded by BBSRC. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the authors.


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A novel gene delivery vector based on the ability of a synthetic amphiphilic block copolymer to mimic biological phospholipids by forming membrane-enclosed structures, specifically nanometer-sized vesicles, is presented. A pH-sensitive diblock copolymer forms vesicles (polymersomes) at neutral pH, and dissolves completely as unimers at endocytic pH (see figure). GFP-encoding plasmid DNA are successfully encapsulated inside the polymer vesicles, and delivered intracellularly.