Poly(glycerol adipate)-fatty acid esters as versatile nanocarriers: From nanocubes over ellipsoids to nanospheres

Verena M Weiss, Toufik Naolou, Gerd Hause, Judith Kuntsche, Jörg Kressler, Karsten Mäder

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Poly(glycerol adipate) (PGA) is a biodegradable polymer with promising features for nanoparticulate drug carrier systems. By acylation of PGA with fatty acids, composite systems with amphiphilic properties can be obtained. Variation of the fatty acid (laurate, stearate and behenate) and their substitution degrees lead to a wide range of different polymer structures. This strongly influences the aggregation of the polymer and thus the nature of the resulting colloidal system. Based on the modification of the interfacial deposition method, various self-stabilizing nanoparticles with defined sizes and narrow size distributions could be prepared. Non-spherical shapes (squares, pentagons) with an internal lamellar-like structure were observed for low substituted PGA-stearates. Higher substitution degrees lead to ellipsoidal or spherical particles. The size, charge, fluidity and polarity of the nanoparticles have been studied comprehensively by PCS, AF4, zeta potential measurements, DSC, NMR, TEM and fluorescence spectroscopy. The chain lengths of the attached fatty acids as well as their substitution degree substantially influence the physicochemical properties of the bulk polymers and the nanoparticles. With their diverse particle shapes and internal structures as well as their different thermal behavior, aggregate states and polarities, the systems offer promising possibilities as delivery systems for lipophilic, amphiphilic and water soluble drugs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)156-164
Publication statusPublished - 2012



  • Calorimetry, Differential Scanning
  • Drug Carriers
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Nanoparticles
  • Oxazines
  • Polyesters
  • Thermogravimetry

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