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Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1120; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101120

Self-Assembled Nanostructures of Red Fluorescent Amphiphilic Block Copolymers as Both Imaging Probes and Drug Carriers

School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 62 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637459, Singapore
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Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 22 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Characterization)
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Abstract

We report a red-fluorescent drug delivery system formed by biodegradable and biocompatible amphiphilic A-B-A block copolymers. Each polymer consists of a red fluorescent dye covalently bonded in the middle of hydrophobic block (B) of polylactone, tethered at both ends with poly[(oligo ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate] (POEGMA) as the hydrophilic block. Two types of polylactones, i.e., semicrystalline poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and amorphous poly(δ-decalactone) (PDL), respectively, were incorporated as the hydrophobic segment in the block copolymers. Using transmission electron microscopy, we characterized the self-assembled nanostructures formed by these amphiphilic block copolymers in mixtures of water/tetrahydrofuran or water/dimethylformamide. All of these polymers remained highly fluorescent in water, although some extent of aggregation-induced fluorescence quenching was still observed. Among the three types of polymers presented here, the polymer (RPO-3) containing an amorphous block of PDL showed the highest drug-loading capacity and the largest extent of drug release in acidic media. RPO-3 micelles loaded with doxorubicin as a model of anticancer drug showed sustainable intracellular release and cytotoxicity against HeLa cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluorescence; polymer; self-assembly; bioimaging; drug delivery fluorescence; polymer; self-assembly; bioimaging; drug delivery
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Huang, S.; Wei, X.; Wang, M. Self-Assembled Nanostructures of Red Fluorescent Amphiphilic Block Copolymers as Both Imaging Probes and Drug Carriers. Polymers 2018, 10, 1120.

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