Biomacromolecules, Vol.12, No.10, 3412-3417, 2011
Zwitterionic Polymersomes in an Ionic Liquid: Room Temperature TEM Characterization
Conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was utilized to characterize vesicles formed by the spontaneous self-assembly of a novel zwitterionic block copolymer in the ionic liquid (2-hydroxyethyl)-dimethylammonium methanesulfonate as well as in 0.1 M phosphate buffered saline (PBS). This block copolymer was synthesized via ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of a norbornene-based sulfobetaine, followed by its end-functionalization with polystyrene to generate the necessary amphiphilic structure. The ionic liquid enabled the visualization of the vesicles in their swollen state by TEM, demonstrating a new method for improved characterization of polymer vesicles.