Amphiphilic polymers based on polyoxazoline as relevant nanovectors for photodynamic therapy†
An amphiphilic polymer (CmPOX) based on poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline) linked to a hydrophobic part composed of an aliphatic chain ending with a photo-active coumarin group has been synthesized. It exhibits the ability of forming small polymeric self-assemblies, typically of ca. 10 nm in size, which were characterized by TEM, cryo-TEM and DLS. The nanocarriers were further formulated to yield photo-crosslinked systems by dimerization of coumarin units of coumarin-functionalized poly(methyl methacrylate) (CmPMMA) and CmPOX. The formed vectors were used to encapsulate Pheophorbide a, a known photosensitizer for photodynamic therapy. Cytotoxicity as well as phototoxicity experiments performed in vitro on human tumor cells revealed the great potential of these nanovectors for photodynamic therapy.