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Open AccessArticle

Biocompatible PEO-b-PCL Nanosized Micelles as Drug Carriers: Structure and Drug–Polymer Interactions

1
Theoretical and Physical Chemistry Institute, National Hellenic Research Foundation, 48 Vassileos Constantinou Avenue, 11635 Athens, Greece
2
Department of Chemistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimioupolis, 15771 Zografou, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(9), 1872; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10091872
Received: 26 August 2020 / Revised: 14 September 2020 / Accepted: 16 September 2020 / Published: 18 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanodispersions Based on Biocompatibility)
We report on the preparation of drug nanocarriers by encapsulating losartan potassium (LSR) into amphiphilic block copolymer micelles, utilizing the biocompatible/biodegradable poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEO-b-PCL) diblock copolymer. The PEO-b-PCL micelles and LSR-loaded PEO-b-PCL nanocarriers were prepared by organic solvent evaporation method (OSEM). Light scattering and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) provide information on micelle structure and polymer–drug interactions. According to dynamic light scattering (DLS) analysis, the PEO-b-PCL micelles and LSR-loaded PEO-b-PCL nanocarriers formed nanostructures in the range of 17–26 nm in aqueous milieu. Attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) and ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) measurements confirmed the presence of LSR in the polymeric drug solutions. NMR results proved the successful encapsulation of LSR into the PEO-b-PCL micelles by analyzing the drug–micelles intermolecular interactions. Specifically, 2D-NOESY experiments clearly evidenced the intermolecular interactions between the biphenyl ring and butyl chain of LSR structure with the methylene signals of PCL. Additionally, NMR studies as a function of temperature demonstrated an unexpected, enhanced proton mobility of the PEO-b-PCL micellar core in D2O solutions, probably caused by the melting of the PCL hydrophobic core. View Full-Text
Keywords: amphiphilic block copolymers; polymeric nanocarriers; drug delivery systems; organic solvent evaporation method; drug encapsulation; drug–polymer intermolecular interactions amphiphilic block copolymers; polymeric nanocarriers; drug delivery systems; organic solvent evaporation method; drug encapsulation; drug–polymer intermolecular interactions
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Chroni, A.; Mavromoustakos, T.; Pispas, S. Biocompatible PEO-b-PCL Nanosized Micelles as Drug Carriers: Structure and Drug–Polymer Interactions. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 1872.

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