Targeted polymeric micelles for delivery of poorly soluble drugs
- Cite this article as:
- Torchilin, V.P. CMLS, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2004) 61: 2549. doi:10.1007/s00018-004-4153-5
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Polymeric micelles (micelles formed by amphiphilic block copolymers) demonstrate a series of attractive properties as drug carriers, such as high stability both in vitro and in vivo and good biocompatibility, and can be successfully used for the solubilization of various poorly soluble pharmaceuticals. These micelles can also be used as targeted drug delivery systems. The targeting can be achieved via the enhanced permeability and retention effect (into the areas with the compromised vasculature), by making micelles of stimuli-responsive amphiphilic block copolymers, or by attaching specific targeting ligand molecules to the micelle surface. Immunomicelles prepared by coupling monoclonal antibody molecules to p-nitrophenylcarbonyl groups on the water-exposed termini of the micelle corona-forming blocks demonstrate high binding specificity and targetability. Immunomicelles prepared with cancer-specific monoclonal antibody 2C5 specifically bind to different cancer cells in vitro and demonstrate increased therapeutic activity in vivo. This new family of pharmaceutical carriers can be used for the solubilization and targeted delivery of poorly soluble drugs to various pathological sites in the body.