PEG coated vesicles from mixtures of Pluronic P123 and l-α-phosphatidylcholine: structure, rheology and curcumin encapsulation
PEG coated vesicles are important vehicles for the passive targeting of anticancer drugs. With a view to prepare PEG decorated vesicles using co-assembly of block copolymers and lipids, here we investigated the microstructure of aggregates formed in mixtures comprising lipids (L-α-phosphatidylcholine) and block copolymers (Pluronic P123), in the polymer rich regime. DLS and SANS studies show that the structure of the aggregates can be tuned from micelles to rod-like micelles or vesicles by changing the lipid to polymer composition. Rheological studies on gels formed by mixtures of polymer and lipid suggest incorporation of the lipid into the polymer matrix. The encapsulation efficiencies of polymer incorporated liposomes for curcumin and doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX) are evaluated at different drug to carrier ratios. The pH dependent sustained release of both the drugs from the PEGylated liposomes suggests their application in the development of cost effective formulations for anticancer drug delivery.