Lipase-mediated synthesis of sugar–PEG-based amphiphiles for encapsulation and stabilization of indocyanine green†
Indocyanine green (ICG) is a near-infrared dye for wide-ranging applications, but its utility for biological studies is limited due to poor aqueous stability and concentration-dependent aggregation. Aqueous polymeric micelles/micellar aggregates of amphiphilic copolymers could be used to protect indocyanine green (ICG) by encapsulation, which is used in laser-mediated photothermal therapy (PTT) and photodynamic therapy (PDT). The sugar–PEG-based amphiphilic copolymers were synthesized using Novozym 435-catalyzed transesterification reaction under bulk conditions for encapsulation of ICG. A dye loading study revealed that micelles derived from copolymers having decanoylated and myristoylated sugar moieties encapsulate 62% and 92% of the ICG, respectively, with a multi-fold increase in its aqueous stability. Furthermore, an efficient internalization of micelles of acylated amphiphilic copolymers in aqueous medium was demonstrated by incubating cells with Nile red-encapsulated amphiphiles.