Biofunctionalized pH-Responsive Microgels for Cancer Cell Targeting: Rational Design


  • E.K. thanks the Canada Research Chair for funding (NSERC Canada). W.C.W.C. acknowledges NSERC, CFI, OIT and the University of Toronto for financial support. M.D. thanks OGS for graduate fellowship. S.M. acknowledges NSERC for graduate fellowship.


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The design of a drug-delivery system based on bioconjugated, pH-responsive microgels is demonstrated. Microgels loaded with the anticancer drug Doxorubicin are introduced into the HeLa tumor cells by means of receptor- mediated endocytosis. Changes in pH within the intracellular environment induce shrinkage of microgels, triggering the drug release into the cells. The microgel described in this work shows enhanced cytotoxicity to HeLa cells (see Figure).