A biodegradable CO2-based polymeric antitumor nanodrug via a one-pot surfactant- and solvent-free miniemulsion preparation†
In the present study, low molecular weight poly(propylene carbonate) (PPC, Mn = 3500), a biodegradable liquid polymer easily prepared from carbon dioxide (CO2), was modified into poly(propylene carbonate)diacrylate (PPC-DA) by acylation, and methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG) was modified into methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) acrylate (mPEG-A). Using PPC-DA as the dispersant to dissolve hydrophobic doxorubicin (DOX) and the initiator, and with mPEG-A as the co-monomer and polymerisable surfactant, a biodegradable nanodrug with excellent biocompatibility was prepared by shear emulsification polymerization without surfactants or organic solvent residues. The nanodrug can be efficiently endocytosed by tumor cells and can rapidly release doxorubicin triggered by the acidic endosomal pH. As evidenced by experiments in tumor-bearing mice, such a nanodrug is stealthy during blood circulation, and targets tumor sites with high efficiency. Moreover, this nanodrug is more effective and less toxic than free doxorubicin. This study provides a green and versatile approach for preparing biodegradable nanodrugs via a simple and efficient process. Moreover, this study extends the applications of CO2 based polymers in the biomedical field, promoting the development of CO2 polymerization fixation.