Anticancer research

Multi-responsive polymer micelles as ellipticine delivery carriers for cancer therapy.

PMID 25667454


In the present study, we describe the synthesis and physicochemical properties of a novel pH- and thermoresponsive micellar drug delivery system for an anticancer ellipticinium derivative based on the triblock copolymer poly(ethylene oxide)-block-[tert-butylacrylamide-co-6-(N-methacryloylamino)hexanoic acid hydrazide]-block-poly(ethylene oxide). The system was designed to meet the basic criteria required for drug carrier systems, namely, solubility in water (overcoming the insolubility of ellipticine), satisfactory drug loading, particle size suitable for an efficient enhanced permeability and retention effect and adequate stability in blood plasma (pH 7.4) followed by rapid drug release in tumors or tumor cell endosomes (pH<6.5). The copolymer in the form of a unimer can be eliminated by kidneys because the weight-average molecular weight of 21 kDa is sufficiently below the renal threshold. The half-life of drug release in a pH 5.0 buffer solution (pH of a late endosome) was ~45 h, but a negligible amount of the free ellipticine derivative was detected at pH 7.4 (pH of blood). Consequently, this supramolecular polymer conjugate is a good candidate for the delivery of ellipticine-based drugs and will therefore be subjected to more detailed studies.