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Recent Advances in Biomedical Application of Polymeric Micelles

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Macromolecules".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 386

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor

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Guest Editor
Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: drug delivery; cyclodextrins and nanoparticle systems; nanocarriers
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, nanomedicine has emerged as a dynamic field within medicine, focusing on nanoscale systems that hold great promise for drug delivery and therapy. Among these systems, polymeric micelles (PMs) have garnered significant attention. PMs are colloidal dispersions of amphiphilic compounds that self-assemble in an aqueous medium, forming a unique core-shell architecture. Their hydrophobic core can encapsulate poorly soluble drugs, while the hydrophilic shell provides stability and steric protection. Notably, PMs are small in size, enabling efficient absorption through the intestinal mucosa and targeted drug transport in the bloodstream. This Special Issue explores advanced applications of PMs, shedding light on their potential in enhancing drug solubility, stability, and pharmacokinetics.

This Special Issue aims to compile the most recent advances in the application of polymeric micelles for drug/iRNA co-delivery, with a particular focus on their encouraging applications in new drug formulations and the regulation of the immune system.

Hence, we cordially invite researchers to submit original research work or review manuscripts that present up-to-date data on the application of polymeric micelles for biomedical approaches.

Dr. Ana Figueiras
Dr. Ivana Jarak
Prof. Dr. Francisco José De Baptista Veiga
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • polymeric micelles
  • nanomedicine
  • drug delivery
  • amphiphilic compounds
  • therapeutic applications

Published Papers (1 paper)

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23 pages, 5911 KiB  
Development and Characterization of Curcumin-Loaded TPGS/F127/P123 Polymeric Micelles as a Potential Therapy for Colorectal Cancer
by Rita Cerqueira, Cátia Domingues, Francisco Veiga, Ivana Jarak and Ana Figueiras
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(14), 7577; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25147577 - 10 Jul 2024
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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most prominent cancer worldwide, and the second leading cause of cancer death. Poor outcomes and limitations of current treatments fuel the search for new therapeutic options. Curcumin (CUR) is often presented as a safer alternative for cancer [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most prominent cancer worldwide, and the second leading cause of cancer death. Poor outcomes and limitations of current treatments fuel the search for new therapeutic options. Curcumin (CUR) is often presented as a safer alternative for cancer treatment with a staggering number of molecular targets involved in tumor initiation, promotion, and progression. Despite being promising, its therapeutic potential is hindered due to its hydrophobic nature. Hence, the ongoing development of optimal delivery strategies based on nanotechnology, such as polymeric micelles (PMs), to overcome issues in CUR solubilization and delivery to tumor cells. In this sense, this study aimed to optimize the development and stability of CUR-loaded P123:F127:TPGS PMs (PFT:CUR) based on the thin-film approach and evaluate their therapeutic potential in CRC. Overall, the results revealed that the solubility of CUR was improved when room temperature was used to hydrate the film. The PFT–CUR hydrated at room temperature presents an average hydrodynamic diameter of 15.9 ± 0.3 nm with a polydispersity index (PDI) of 0.251 ± 0.103 and a zeta potential of −1.5 ± 1.9 mV, and a 35.083 ± 1.144 encapsulation efficiency (EE%) and 3.217 ± 0.091 drug loading (DL%) were observed. To ensure the stability of the optimized PFT–CUR nanosystems, different lyophilization protocols were tested, the use of 1% of glycine (GLY) being the most promising protocol. Regarding the critical micellar concentration (CMC), it was shown that the cryoprotectant and the lyophilization process could impact it, with an increase from 0.064 mg/mL to 0.119 mg/mL. In vitro results showed greater cytotoxic effects when CUR was encapsulated compared to its free form, yet further analysis revealed the heightened cytotoxicity could be attributed to the system itself. Despite challenges, the developed CUR-loaded PM shows potential as an effective therapeutic agent for CRC. Nonetheless, the system must undergo refinements to enhance drug entrapment as well as improve overall stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Biomedical Application of Polymeric Micelles)
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