Nanoparticles made from the self-assembly of Carbohydrate Block Copolymers

Author(s): Borsali R

Current knowledge in modern molecular science allows for the preparation of a myriad of tailored

nanomaterials, which play important and multifaceted roles in nanoscience and technology.

Among the bottom-up strategies, self-assembly is an incredibly powerful concept in

macromolecular engineering that offers an invaluable tool for the preparation of 2D and 3D

discrete nanostructures, ranging from materials science to molecular biology, which are often not

accessible by any other fabrication process. Using self-assembly as a synthetic tool, powerful

chemistry and physico-chemistry protocols can be developed that are capable of organizing

organic and inorganic building-blocks into unprecedented structures and patterns, over several

length scales to create novel and innovative materials. In this context and during the last decades,

block copolymers (BCP) systems have received considerable attention as a promising platform for

preparing nanometer-scale structures and materials due to their self-assembling nature into

periodic domains whether in solution (nanoparticles) or solid states. To date, numerous studies

have been focused on the self-assembly of petroleum-based BCPs for potential applications in

multidisciplinary fields, such as nanoparticles for drug delivery, or nano-organized films for

biosensors, or nanolithography, etc. Such materials are derived from fossil resources that are being

rapidly depleted and have negative environmental impacts. In contrast, carbohydrates are

abundant, renewable and constitute a sustainable source of materials. This is currently attracting

much interest in various sectors and their industrial applications at the nanoscale level will have to

expand quickly in response to the transition to a bio-based economy. The self-assembly of

carbohydrate BCP systems at the nanoscale level via the bottom-up approach, has allowed the

conception of nanostructured nanoparticles (micelles, vesicles,…) whose external shell is made

from carbohydrates. We will present recent results on the self-assemblies of carbohydrate-based

block copolymer leading to nanoparticles presenting different shapes (spherical, cubic, …).