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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 379286, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/379286
Research Article

Polymersomes and Wormlike Micelles Made Fluorescent by Direct Modifications of Block Copolymer Amphiphiles

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Received 23 December 2009; Accepted 20 April 2010

Academic Editor: Jinying Yuan

Copyright © 2010 Karthikan Rajagopal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Wormlike micelles and vesicles prepared from diblock copolymers are attracting great interest for a number of technological applications. Although transmission electron microscopy has remained as the method of choice for assessing the morphologies, fluorescence microscopy has a number of advantages. We show here that when commercially available fluorophores are covalently attached to diblock copolymers, a number of their physicochemical characteristics can be investigated. This method becomes particularly useful for visualizing phase separation within polymer assemblies and assessing the dynamics of wormlike micelles in real time. Near-IR fluorophores can be covalently conjugated to polymers and this opens the possibility for deep-tissue fluorescence imaging of polymer assemblies in drug delivery applications.