Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly (PISA) – control over the morphology of nanoparticles for drug delivery applications†
In this paper, we describe the synthesis of asymmetric functional POEGMA-b-P(ST-co-VBA) copolymers in methanol, yielding in one-pot polymerization a range of nanoparticle morphologies, including spherical micelles, worm-like, rod-like micelles and vesicles. The presence of the aldehyde group was then exploited to form crosslinks or to conjugate chemotherapy compounds, such as doxorubicin, via pH-breakable bonds (Schiff base or imine) directly to the preformed nanoparticles. The influence of the nanoparticle morphologies on the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line uptake was investigated using flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Finally, the IC50 of DOX, following nanoparticle delivery, was studied showing significant influence of the nanoparticle carrier morphology on therapeutic efficacy for breast cancer.