Comparative evaluation of polymersome versus micelle structures as vehicles for the controlled release of drugs

  • Mona Alibolandi
  • Mohammad Ramezani
  • Khalil Abnous
  • Fatemeh SadeghiEmail author
  • Farzin HadizadehEmail author
Research Paper


Di-block copolymers composed of two biocompatible polymers, poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(d,l-lactide), were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization for the preparation of doxorubicin-loaded self-assembled nanostructures, including polymeric vesicles (polymersomes) and micelles. The capability and stability of the nanostructures prepared for the controlled release of DOX are discussed in this paper. The in vitro drug release at 37 °C was evaluated up to 6 days at pH 7.4 and 5.5 and in the presence of 50 % FBS. The cellular uptake and cytotoxicity effect of both formulations were also evaluated in the MCF-7 cell line. The SEM and AFM images confirmed the hollow spherical structure of the polymersomes and the solid round structures of the micelles. The TEM results also revealed the uniformity in size and shape of the drug-loaded micelle and polymersome nanostructures. The DOX-loaded micelles and polymersomes presented efficient anticancer performance, as verified by flow cytometry and MTT assay tests. The most important finding of this study is that the prepared nanopolymersomes presented significant increases in the doxorubicin encapsulation efficiency and the stability of the formulation in comparison with the micelle formulation. In vitro studies revealed that polymersomes may be stable in the blood circulation and meet the requirements for an effective drug delivery system.


Micelles Polymersomes Di-block copolymer Self-assembled Doxorubicin Nanomedicine 



The authors are grateful for the financial support provided by the Iran National Science Foundation (No. 9000719) and the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (No. 901051). The authors would also like to thank Prof. Hossein Hosseinkhani from the National University of Taiwan for the valuable assistance provided.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biotechnology Research Center, School of PharmacyMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  2. 2.Pharmaceutical Research Center, School of PharmacyMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  3. 3.Targeted Drug Delivery Research Center, School of PharmacyMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran

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