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Dynamic light scattering used in polymer nanoparticle characterization

Introduction

Polymer Nanoparticles

Polymer nanoparticles have been widely studied as possible drug delivery systems due to their ability to control the release of drug contained within them and due to their biocompatibility [1,2]. They are relatively easy to produce with their drug release profiles dependent upon polymer structure. Some of the important characteristics of polymer nanoparticles for drug delivery applications include their particle size and surface chemistry. Typically, they range in size from 10 to 1000nm in diameter allowing them to transverse cell membranes.

There are a variety of ways in which delivery of encapsulated drug from polymer nanoparticles can be controlled [1]. These include physical (e.g. sonorphoresis), chemical (e.g. pH, salt concentration), biochemical (e.g. enzyme) and environmental (e.g. temperature) mechanisms. The influence of these mechanisms on the size of the polymer nanoparticles can be investigated using dynamic light scattering (DLS).

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