Role of self‐assembly conditions and amphiphilic balance on nanoparticle formation of PEG‐PDLLA copolymers in aqueous environments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Hien Phan
  • Robert I. Minut
  • Phoebe Mccrorie
  • Catherine Vasey
  • Ryan R. Larder
  • Eduards Krumins
  • Maria Marlow
  • Ruman Rahman
  • Cameron Alexander
  • Vincenzo Taresco

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • School of PharmacyUniversity of Nottingham Nottingham NG7 2RD United Kingdom
  • Department of PharmacyD'Annunzio University of Chieti–Pescara 66100 Chieti Italy
  • School of ChemistryUniversity of Nottingham Nottingham NG7 2RD United Kingdom
  • Faculty of Medicine & Health SciencesUniversity of Nottingham Nottingham NG7 2RD United Kingdom
  • School of ChemistryUniversity of Birmingham Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom
  • Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of Angers 49035 Angers France


The production of well‐defined and reproducible polymeric nanoparticles (NPs), in terms of size and stability in biological environments, is undoubtedly a fundamental challenge in the formulation of novel and more effective nanomedicines. The adoption of PEGylated lactide (LA) block copolymers as biodegradable and biocompatible nanocarriers at different clinical stages has rendered these materials an attractive polymeric platform to be exploited and their formulation is further understood. In the present work, we synthesized a library of linear polyethylene glycol‐poly(D,L‐lactide) block copolymers with different lengths of LA (15, 25, 50, and 100 LA units) via simple and metal‐free ring‐opening polymerization, in order to alter the amphiphilic balance of the different macromolecules. The produced polymers were formulated into NPs while varying a series of key parameters in the solvent displacement process, including solvent:nonsolvent ratios and the nature of the two media, and the effect on size and stability was assessed. In addition, stability to protein–NPs interaction and aggregation was studied, highlighting the different NP final properties according to the nature of the amphiphilic balance and nanoformulation conditions. Therefore, we have illustrated a systematic and methodological process to optimize a series of NPs parameters balancing particle size, size distribution, surface charge, and stability to guide future works in the nanoformulation field.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1801-1810
JournalJournal of Polymer Science. Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number17
Early online date2 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


  • block copolymers, nanoformulation, NP size, NP stability, PEG‐PDLLA