Predictive Shapes of Ellipsoid PPDL-PTHF Copolymer Particles Prepared by the Phantom Stretching Technique


Ellipsoidal polymer particles can be prepared from spheres by unidirectional stretching at elevated temperatures, while the particles’ aspect ratios (AR) that result from this phantom stretching methodology are often not precisely predictable. Here, an elastic deformation model was exemplarily evaluated for ~50 µm spherical microparticles from PPDL-PTHF block copolymers. The prolate ellipsoidal particles, obtained by stretching in polyvinyl alcohol phantoms, differed in dimensions at identical relative phantoms elongations up to 150%, depending on the relative polymer composition and their systematically altered mechanical properties. Importantly, the resulting particle shapes within the studied range of AR up to ~4 matched the predictions of the elastic deformation model, which includes information of the elastic moduli of phantom and particle materials. These data suggest that the model may be applicable to predict the conditions needed to precisely prepare ellipsoids of desired AR and may be applicable to various deformable particle materials.
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