Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Samantha Wilner


Lipid micelles represent an important class of nanoparticle with the potential to enhance the solubility and delivery of hydrophobic drugs and imaging agents. Their small size (< 50 nm) makes them ideal candidates for both passive tumor uptake and deep tissue penetration. The use of lipid micelles as delivery vehicles, however, has been challenged by the fact that these particles are inherently unstable in vivo due to concentration dependence and interactions with serum proteins. We have developed a minimalist method to stabilize the formation of micelles using lipid monomers covalently modified with short oligonucleotide sequences (5-16 nucleotides in length). These oligonucleotide-lipid conjugates are synthesized manually using standard phosphoramidite chemistry, and oligonucleotide-stabilized lipid micelles (OLMs) are assembled in aqueous media. Micellar structure can be easily tuned in this approach by modifying lipid structure and oligonucleotide sequence, thus creating a library of OLMs with varying stability. Most importantly, this approach provides a pathway toward the engineering of programmable micelles such that an external trigger leads to monomer exchange with serum proteins and cargo release.


Presented as part of the Ursinus College Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA) held April 23 – April 30, 2020.

The downloadable file is a poster with recorded audio commentary.


Available to Ursinus community only.