Permeable Protein-Loaded Polymersome Cascade Nanoreactors by Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly

Lewis D. Blackman, Spyridon Varlas, Maria C. Arno, Alice Fayter, Matthew I. Gibson, Rachel K. O’Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


Enzyme loading of polymersomes requires permeability to enable them to interact with the external environment, typically requiring addition of complex functionality to enable porosity. Herein, we describe a synthetic route toward intrinsically permeable polymersomes loaded with functional proteins using initiator-free visible light-mediated polymerization-induced self-assembly (photo-PISA) under mild, aqueous conditions using a commercial monomer. Compartmentalization and retention of protein functionality was demonstrated using green fluorescent protein as a macromolecular chromophore. Catalytic enzyme-loaded vesicles using horseradish peroxidase and glucose oxidase were also prepared and the permeability of the membrane toward their small molecule substrates was revealed for the first time. Finally, the interaction of the compartmentalized enzymes between separate vesicles was validated by means of an enzymatic cascade reaction. These findings have a broad scope as the methodology could be applied for the encapsulation of a large range of macromolecules for advancements in the fields of nanotechnology, biomimicry, and nanomedicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1263–1267
Number of pages5
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number11
Early online date31 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Permeable Protein-Loaded Polymersome Cascade Nanoreactors by Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this