Design of polyelectrolyte core-shell and polyelectrolyte/non-polyelectrolyte Janus nanoparticles as drug nanocarriers

Cross-linked poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA) nanoparticles synthesized by distillation precipitation polymerization (DPP) were used as polyelectrolyte seeds in seeded emulsion polymerization of 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA). The use of DMAEMA and HEMA hydrophilic monomers as shell monomer fabricated a polyelectrolyte and a non-polyelectrolyte polymer in the presence of polyelectrolyte seed particles respectively. The effects of feeding approach and polymerization media on the morphology of the resulted particles were investigated. Production of polyelectrolyte and non-polyelectrolyte components in the presence of polyelectrolyte seed particles led to formation of composite particles with different morphologies including polyelectrolyte@polyelectrolyte core-shell and polyelectrolyte/non-polyelectrolyte Janus particles. Subsequently, to determine the behavior of the poly-electrolyte and non-polyelectrolyte shells, an acidic drug with the least tendency to the acidic polyelectrolyte core (vitamin C) was loaded onto synthesized PMAA seed particles and smart composite nanoparticles and its release behavior was studied in different conditions. Results showed that amount of loaded drug and release behavior depend significantly on the structure of utilized nanocarrier.