Backbone-hydrazone-containing biodegradable copolymeric micelles for anticancer drug delivery
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Well-defined biodegradable, pH-sensitive amphiphilic block polymers, poly(ethylene glycol)-Hyd-poly(lactic acid) (mPEG-Hyd-PLA) which have acid-cleavable linkages in their backbones, were synthesized via ring-opening polymerization initiated from hydrazone-containing macroinitiators. Introducing a hydrazone bond onto the backbone of an amphiphilic copolymer will find a broad-spectrum encapsulation of hydrophobic drugs. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy showed that the diblock copolymers self-assembled into stable micelles with average diameters of 100 nm. The mean diameters and size distribution of the hydrazone-containing micelles changed obviously in mildly acidic pH (multiple peaks from 1 to 202 nm appeared under a pH 4.0 condition) than in neutral, while there were no changes in the case of non-sensitive ones. Doxorubicin (DOX) and paclitaxel (PTX) were loaded with drug loading content ranging from 2.4 to 3.5 %, respectively. Interestingly, the anticancer drugs released from mPEG-Hyd-PLA micelles could also be promoted by the increased acidity. An in vitro cytotoxicity study showed that the DOX-loaded mPEG-Hyd-PLA micelles have significantly enhanced cytotoxicity against HepG2 cells compared with the non-sensitive poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(lactic acid) (mPEG-PLA) micelles. Confocal microscopy observation indicated that more DOX were delivered into the nuclei of cells following 6 or 12 h incubation with DOX-loaded mPEG-Hyd-PLA micelles. In vivo studies on H22-bearing Swiss mice demonstrated the superior anticancer activity of DOX-loaded mPEG-Hyd-PLA micelles over free DOX and DOX-loaded mPEG-PLA micelles. These hydrazone-containing pH-responsive degradable micelles provide a useful strategy for antitumor drug delivery.
KeywordsBiodegradable copolymer Micelles pH-sensitive Drug release Cancer therapy Nanomedicine
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC 51375142), Research Fund for Excellent Young College Teachers of Henan Province and a Key Project Funded by the Education Department of Henan Province. Thanks to Professor Gangjun Du for his valuable advice and help in the animal experiments.
Compliance with ethical standards
All animal experiments were performed in accordance with the principles of care and use of laboratory animals and were approved by the experimental animal administrative committee of Henan University.
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