Shell Cross-Linked Knedels: Amphiphilic Core-Shell Nanospheres with Unique Potential for Controlled Release Applications
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Shell cross-linked knedels (SCK's) are stable, covalently bound macromolecular assemblies that possess spherical shape, a core-shell morphology, and nanometer dimensions. The SCK's are prepared by a three-step procedure beginning with covalent construction of an amphiphilic diblock copolymer, followed by self-assembly into a three-dimensional structure and lastly, stabilization via covalent cross-links within selective regions. This is reminiscent of the method by which proteins are created. The chemistry is performed in water and the SCK's contain a hydrogel-like cross-linked surface layer that surrounds a hydrophobic core. Investigation of the SCK's for encapsulation and binding applications is discussed.