Two key concepts in living organisms are that biochemical reactions are sequestered into reaction compartments such as cells and organelles, and that many of the complex biological reaction cascades involve transient activation of reactions in response to external triggers. Here we review our efforts to implement these concepts into artificial nanoreactors. Block copolymer vesicles (polymersomes) for laccase-catalyzed oxidations as well as a generally applicable permeabilization method for polymersome membranes are highlighted. Moreover, polymersome nanoreactors that can be switched on by visible light and that immediately return to their off state in the dark are reviewed. These systems have the potential to create bio-inspired catalytic systems, e.g. to orchestrate reaction cascades.
- polymersome membranes
- copolymer vesicles