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Stabilization of poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(ε-caprolactone) star block copolymer micelles via aromatic groups for improved drug delivery properties
- Buwalda, Sytze, Al Samad, Assala, El Jundi, Ayman, Bethry, Audrey, Bakkour, Youssef, Coudane, Jean, Nottelet, Benjamin
- Journal of colloid and interface science 2018 v.514 pp. 468-478
- cell viability, composite polymers, curcumin, cytotoxicity, drugs, encapsulation, hydrophobic bonding, micelles, moieties, polyethylene glycol, solubilization
- The functionalization of poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEG-PCL) block copolymers with moieties allowing for core-crosslinking is expected to result in improved micellar stability and drug delivery properties.PEG-(PCL)8 star block copolymers were functionalized with pendant benzylthioether (BTE) groups by applying an anionic post-polymerization modification technique followed by photoradical thiol-yne addition of benzyl mercaptan. The micellar properties of PEG-(PCL)8 and PEG-(PCL-BTE)8 were studied and compared in terms of critical micelle concentration (CMC), size, morphology, drug loading and release and in vitro cytotoxicity.In comparison with unmodified PEG-(PCL)8 micelles, PEG-(PCL-BTE)8 micelles exhibited a 15-fold lower CMC, a 15-fold smaller size and a 50% higher drug loading and encapsulation efficiency thanks to the presence of pendant benzyl groups which provide the possibility for micellar core-crosslinking via supramolecular π-π stacking and additional hydrophobic interactions. Whereas the PEG-(PCL)8 micelles showed significant aggregation during in vitro cytotoxicity experiments, the PEG-(PCL-BTE)8 micelles showed no signs of aggregation and were capable of solubilizing high concentrations of curcumin, resulting in a significant decrease in MCF-7 cell viability after 48 h. Their ease of synthesis combined with promising results regarding drug delivery make the PEG-(PCL-BTE)8 micelles appealing for application in the field of encapsulation.