Morphological diversity of block copolymer/lipid chimeric nanostructures

  • Nikolaos Naziris
  • Natassa Pippa
  • Varvara Chrysostomou
  • Stergios PispasEmail author
  • Costas DemetzosEmail author
  • Marcin Libera
  • Barbara TrzebickaEmail author
Research Paper


Different in nature biomaterials, which are used for the development of drug delivery nanosystems, could be mixed, in order to produce chimeric/mixed nanostructures. Their morphological characteristics and biophysical properties depend on the degree of association and interactions between the self-assembling biomaterials. For the purpose of this study, chimeric nanosystems composed of phospholipid and amphiphilic diblock copolymers were developed, at different molar ratios. Light scattering and imaging techniques were employed, in order to extract information on the nanostructure physicochemical characteristics and their morphology. Certain morphological characteristics were assessed for vesicle membranes, which are considered to be of paramount importance for their fate inside the physiological environment and their biophysical behavior. Besides vesicles, a variety of structures appeared in the phospholipid/copolymer chimeric systems, depending on both the composition and the concentration of the utilized polymer, declaring the lyotropic effect on the self-assembly of the biomaterials. The size range of most objects, including vesicles, was around 100 nm. Membrane irregularities, such as domains and rafts, are considered as functional biophysical factors, rendering liposomes appropriate artificial models for approaching various diseases on the level of living cell membranes. Such information is of paramount importance for the utilization of chimeric nanostructures in drug delivery and in therapy.

Graphical abstract

Combining of different in nature biomaterials, e.g. phospholipid and amphiphilic polymer, leads to divergent morphogenesis, concerning both structural conformation and membrane morphology.


Block copolymer Lipid Cryo-TEM Nanostructures 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Pharmaceutical Technology, Department of Pharmacy, School of Health SciencesNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Theoretical and Physical Chemistry Institute, National Hellenic Research FoundationAthensGreece
  3. 3.Centre of Polymer and Carbon MaterialsPolish Academy of SciencesZabrzePoland

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