Block copolymers, when dissolved in a selective solvent, form spherical micelles. These micelles can selectively solubilize organic molecules otherwise insoluble in the pure solvent. In this study, we report solubilization of organic molecules by styrene-methacrylic acid block copolymer micelles in aqueous buffers. A light scattering technique was developed to determine the extent of micellar solubilization. Our results indicate that the extent of micellar solubilization depends an the chemical nature of organic molecules, specifically, on the interactions between the organic compound and polystyrene. A thermodynamic model has been developed to describe micellar solubilization. The theoretical calculation agrees reasonably well with the experimental results for two micellar samples examined. (C) 1995 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.