Macromolecular bioscience

Enhanced Bioactivity of α-Tocopheryl Succinate Based Block Copolymer Nanoparticles by Reduced Hydrophobicity.

PMID 27739627


Well-structured amphiphilic copolymers are necessary to obtain self-assembled nanoparticles (NPs) based on synthetic polymers. Highly homogeneous and monodispersed macromolecules obtained by controlled polymerization have successfully been used for this purpose. However, disaggregation of the organized macromolecules is desired when a bioactive element, such as α-tocopheryl succinate, is introduced in self-assembled NPs and this element must be exposed or released to exert its action. The aim of this work is to demonstrate that the bioactivity of synthetic NPs based on defined reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization copolymers can be enhanced by the introduction of hydrophilic comonomers in the hydrophobic segment. The amphiphilic terpolymers are based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) as hydrophilic block, and a hydrophobic block based on a methacrylic derivative of α-tocopheryl succinate (MTOS) and small amounts of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) (PEG-b-poly(MTOS-co-HEMA)). The introduction of HEMA reduces hydrophobicity and introduces "disorder" both in the homogeneous blocks and the compact core of the corresponding NPs. These NPs are able to encapsulate additional α-tocopheryl succinate (α-TOS) with high efficiency and their biological activity is much higher than that described for the unmodified copolymers, proposedly due to more efficient degradation and release of α-TOS, demonstrating the importance of the hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance.

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1,4-Dioxane, anhydrous, 99.8%