Stabilization of catanionic vesicles via polymerization

Zhiyuan Zhu, Hangxun Xu, Hewen Liu, Yamaira I. González, Eric W. Kaler, Shiyong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Polymerizable cationic surfactant methacryloyloxyoctyl trimethylammonium bromide (MOTB) and anionic surfactant sodium 4-(ω-methacryloyloxyoctyl) oxy benzene sulfonate (MOBS) were synthesized. Stable catanionic vesicles can spontaneously form upon mixing the two oppositely charged surfactants in aqueous solution, which was further permanently fixed by polymerization. Surface tensiometry, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), static and dynamic laser light scattering (LLS), and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) were used in combination to characterize the catanionic vesicles before and after polymerization. The kinetics of formation and breakdown of unpolymerized catanionic vesicles were studied in detail employing stopped-flow light scattering. In contrast to unpolymerized vesicles, the polymerized ones exhibit permanent stability under external perturbations such as dilution or adding excess MOTB. A tentative explanation is proposed about why free radical polymerization can successfully fix the catanionic vesicles, the structure of which is well-known to be in dynamic equilibrium exchange with unimers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16309-16317
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 24 2006


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