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Issue 48, 2020
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Enzyme-responsive polymeric micelles with fluorescence fabricated through aggregation-induced copolymer self-assembly for anticancer drug delivery

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Abstract

Designing polymer-based nanostructures through self-assembly has great practical significance in biomedical applications, especially in drug delivery. In general, hydrophobic chains can induce the self-assembly of amphiphilic copolymer to form polymer-based nanostructures in an aqueous phase. However, the application of polymer-based nanostructures has been prevented due to the insufficient functionality of hydrophobic chains. To address these critical issues, the unique tetraphenylethene (TPE) moiety is employed with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) as functional hydrophobic chains to induce copolymer self-assembly and form polymeric micelles that can show strong fluorescence and a low critical micelle concentration (CMC) in aqueous solution. The novel polymeric micelles can efficiently encapsulate doxorubicin (DOX) molecules, and their favorable stability is demonstrated in a physiological medium. More importantly, the disassembly of polymeric micelles is triggered in the presence of esterase, then causing drug release and fluorescence quenching. It is demonstrated that DOX-loaded polymeric micelles have an obvious toxicity against cancer cells. This work confirms that the combination of AIE and self-assembly is an effective strategy for expanding the application of block copolymers and developing new enzyme-responsive polymeric micelles for cancer therapy.

Graphical abstract: Enzyme-responsive polymeric micelles with fluorescence fabricated through aggregation-induced copolymer self-assembly for anticancer drug delivery

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
15 Sep 2020
Accepted
15 Nov 2020
First published
17 Nov 2020

Polym. Chem., 2020,11, 7704-7713
Article type
Paper

Enzyme-responsive polymeric micelles with fluorescence fabricated through aggregation-induced copolymer self-assembly for anticancer drug delivery

K. Yan, S. Zhang, K. Zhang, Y. Miao, Y. Qiu, P. Zhang, X. Jia and X. Zhao, Polym. Chem., 2020, 11, 7704
DOI: 10.1039/D0PY01328E

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