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Keywords:

  • anticancer agents;
  • micelles;
  • polymers;
  • self-assembly;
  • supramolecular chemistry
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Drug smuggling: Micelles made up of block copolymers and the anticancer drug adriamycin (ADR), which is linked to the polymer by a pH-sensitive linker, have been prepared (see picture). Treatment of cancer cells with the micelles shows that the micelles are transported into the cell by endocytosis, thus bypassing the cell-membrane transporters. In the cell, the decrease in pH value triggers the release of the ADR, which retains its cytotoxic effect. The released ADR fluoresces which allows its localization within the cells to be detected.