We describe the preparation and characterization of hybrid block copolymer nanoparticles (NPs) for use as multimodal carriers for drugs and imaging agents. Stable, water-soluble, biocompatible poly(ethylene glycol)-Wocfc- poly(εcaprolactone) NPs simultaneously co-encapsulating hydrophobic organic actives (β-carotene) and inorganic imaging nanostructures (Au) are prepared using the flash nanoprecipitation process in a multi-inlet vortex mixer. These composite nanoparticles (CNPs) are produced with tunable sizes between 75 nm and 275 nm, narrow particle size distributions, high encapsulation efficiencies, specified component compositions, and long-term stability. The process is tunable and flexible because it relies on the control of mixing and aggregation timescales. It is anticipated that the technique can be applied to a variety of hydrophobic active compounds, fluorescent dyes, and inorganic nanostructures, yielding CNPs for combined therapy and multimodal imaging applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces