Self-Assembled pH-Responsive Polymeric Micelles for Highly Efficient, Non-Cytotoxic Delivery of Doxorubicin Chemotherapy to Inhibit Macrophage Activation: In Vitro Investigation

Zhi Sheng Liao, Shan You Huang, Jyun Jie Huang, Jem Kun Chen, Ai Wei Lee, Juin Yih Lai, Duu Jong Lee, Chih Chia Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Self-assembled pH-responsive polymeric micelles, a combination of hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) segments and hydrogen bonding interactions within a biocompatible polyurethane substrate, can spontaneously self-assemble into highly controlled, nanosized micelles in aqueous solution. These newly-developed micelles exhibit excellent pH-responsive behavior and biocompatibility, highly controlled drug (doxorubicin; DOX) release behavior and high drug encapsulation stability in different aqueous environments, making the micelles highly attractive potential candidates for safer, more effective drug delivery in applications such as cancer chemotherapy. In addition, in vitro cell studies revealed the drug-loaded micelles possessed excellent drug entrapment stability and low cytotoxicity towards macrophages under normal physiological conditions (pH 7.4, 37 °C). When the pH of the culture media was reduced to 6.0 to mimic the acidic tumor microenvironment, the drug-loaded micelles triggered rapid release of DOX within the cells, which induced potent anti-proliferative and cytotoxic effects in vitro. Importantly, fluorescent imaging and flow cytometric analyses confirmed the DOX-loaded micelles were efficiently delivered into the cytoplasm of the cells via endocytosis, then subsequently gradually translocated into the nucleus. Therefore, these multifunctional micelles could serve as delivery vehicles for precise, effective, controlled drug release to prevent accumulation and activation of tumor-promoting tumor-associated macrophages in cancer tissues. Thus, this unique system may offer a potential route towards the practical realization of next-generation pH-responsive therapeutic delivery systems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiomacromolecules
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 3 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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