Master assignment - Size-controlled nanogels

Rachel Elzes, Jos Paulusse

The size of nanoparticles is known to dramatically affect biological processes such as cellular uptake, tissue/tumor penetration and immune response.1 For example, nanogels of 30 nm are frequently reported as optimally-sized nanogels for tumoral drug delivery.2 However, preparation of sub-100 nm nanogels can be challenging. In this project, nanogels will be prepared using reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization as depicted in Fig. 1. By quenching the reaction at appropriate timepoints, nanogels of different sizes should be obtained. A library of particles with sizes between 10-100 nm and several chemical compositions (styrene, DMAEMA, HEAA, NIPAM and SBMA) will by synthesized and characterized. Conditions such as concentration, monomer ratio and temperature will be optimized. Finally, cellular uptake will be investigated by copolymerizing a fluorescent tag and performing confocal microscopy.

D:\Surfdrive\Drawings\nanoparticle progression.png

Figure . Nano/macrogel formation over time via controlled radical polymerization.


(1) Zhang, S.; Gao, H.; Bao, G. Physical Principles of Nanoparticle Cellular Endocytosis. ACS Nano 2015, 9, 8655–8671.

(2) Cabral, H.; Matsumoto, Y.; Mizuno, K.; Chen, Q.; Murakami, M.; Kimura, M.; Terada, Y.; Kano, M. R.; Miyazono, K.; Uesaka, M.; et al. Accumulation of Sub-100 Nm Polymeric Micelles in Poorly Permeable Tumours Depends on Size. Nat. Nanotechnol. 2011, 6, 815–823.