Thermoresponsive glycopolymer vesicles: in situ observation of morphological changes and triggered cargo release
The real-time structural changes of thermoresponsive polymer vesicles upon cooling were investigated by small-angle X-ray scattering and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The disassembly process of the vesicles consists of multiple steps: 1) pore formation, 2) opening and shrinkage of the membrane, and 3) dissolving in the solvent. We also demonstrated that the vesicles can be used as compartments for the controlled release of proteins. This study provides the basis for the mechanism of the disassembly process of thermoresponsive vesicles and a guideline for their use as controlled-release medical devices.