Hierarchical assemblies of polymer particles through tailored interfaces and controllable interfacial interactions

Hierarchical assembly architectures of functional polymer particles are promising because of their physicochemical and surface properties for multi-labeling and sensing to catalysis and biomedical applications. While polymer nanoparticles' interior is mainly made up of the cross-linked network, their surface can be tailored with soft, flexible, and responsive molecules and macromolecules as potential support for the controlled particulate assemblies. Molecular surfactants and polyelectrolytes as interfacial agents improve the stability of the nanoparticles whereas swellable and soft shell-like cross-linked polymeric layer at the interface can significantly enhance the uptake of guest nano-constituents during assemblies. Besides, layer-by-layer surface-functionalization holds the ability to provide a high variability in assembly architectures of different interfacial properties. Considering these aspects, various assembly architectures of polymer nanoparticles of tunable size, shapes, morphology, and tailored interfaces together with controllable interfacial interactions are constructed here. The microfluidic-mediated platform has been used for the synthesis of constituents polymer nanoparticles of various structural and interfacial properties, and their assemblies are conducted in batch or flow conditions. The assemblies presented in this progress report is divided into three main categories: cross-linked polymeric network's fusion-based self-assembly, electrostatic-driven assemblies, and assembly formed by encapsulating smaller nanoparticles into larger microparticles.


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