Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Elizabeth Gillies


Amphiphilic block copolymers are well known to undergo self-assembly in aqueous solution into a variety of core/shell structures making them useful for various health applications. These different architectures are largely a result of the hydrophilic volume or weight fraction of the block copolymer. In drug delivery, differences in morphology can largely impact performance and each provides their individual advantages. Polymer vesicles, commonly referred to as polymersomes, have received significant attention due to their resemblance to biological membranes and multifunctional capabilities. This thesis describes the use of novel polyester block copolymers containing a hydrophilic poly(ethylene oxide) block and a hydrophobic poly(hydroxyalkanoate) block bearing alkene functionality. These polyester block copolymers can be functionalized using orthogonal chemistry with a number of molecules in order to tune their hydrophilic weight fraction and obtain a variety of different desirable morphologies. Additionally, this thesis will describe the synthesis of glycopolymer-coated vesicles using RAFT polymerization for their potential application in targeted drug delivery.