New biocompatible polymeric micelles designed for efficient intracellular uptake and delivery†
New amphiphilic block copolymers are easily synthesised by post-polymerisation modifications of poly(glycidyl methacrylate) chain derivatives. The obtained material, upon dispersion in water, is capable of self-assembling into robust micelles. These nanoparticles, which are also characterised by adaptable stability, were loaded with different thiophene based fluorophores. The photoluminescent micelles were administered to cultured cells revealing a high and rapid internalisation of structurally different fluorescent molecules by the same internalisation pathway. Appropriate pairs of chromophores were selected and loaded into the micelles to induce Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). The disappearing of the FRET phenomenon, after cell uptaking, demonstrated the intracellular release of the nanoparticle contents. The studied nanomaterial and the loaded chromophores have also shown to be biocompatible and non toxic towards the tested cells.