Polymer directed self-assembly of pH-responsive antioxidant nanoparticles

Christina Tang, Devang Amin, Phillip B. Messersmith, John E. Anthony, Robert K. Prud'homme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


We have developed pH-responsive, multifunctional nanoparticles based on encapsulation of an antioxidant, tannic acid (TA), using flash nanoprecipitation, a polymer directed self-assembly method. Formation of insoluble coordination complexes of tannic acid and iron during mixing drives nanoparticle assembly. Tuning the core material to polymer ratio, the size of the nanoparticles can be readily tuned between 50 and 265 nm. The resulting nanoparticle is pH-responsive, i.e., stable at pH 7.4 and soluble under acidic conditions due to the nature of the coordination complex. Further, the coordination complex can be coprecipitated with other hydrophobic materials such as therapeutics or imaging agents. For example, coprecipitation with a hydrophobic fluorescent dye creates fluorescent nanoparticles. In vitro, the nanoparticles have low cytotoxicity and show antioxidant activity. Therefore, these particles may facilitate intracellular delivery of antioxidants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3612-3620
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 31 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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