Polyion complex (PIC) formation is one of the most powerful techniques for obtaining molecular self-assemblies in aqueous media. The simple preparation process based on multiple electrostatic interactions is quite attractive for material syntheses, as well as biomedical applications. Therefore, it is desirable to control PIC architectures at the nanoscale in order to expand the scope of PIC materials. In this review article, recent progress on PIC vesicles (PICsomes) is summarized. PICsomes were first developed by my research group, and we recently succeeded in controlling the sizes and structural uniformity of the vesicles. Furthermore, the characteristic dynamic nature of PICs was revealed: PICs were found to exhibit reversible association/dissociation and structural transformation. We demonstrated that crosslinking the PIC layers of PICsomes is a powerful method for tuning properties such as stability and permeability. Finally, the potential utility of PICsomes for drug delivery nanocarriers was examined, and their future biomedical application is discussed.
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