• drug delivery systems;
  • intracellular targeting;
  • micelles;
  • poly(β-amino ester);
  • stimuli-sensitive polymers


Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The pH sensitivity of a series of PbAEs synthesized from primary amines and diacrylates is studied. By changing alkyl groups of the amine monomers, the pKb can be tuned across a broad range (from 3.5 to 7.2). Micelles formed from a PEG-PbAE block copolymer retain the pH sensitivity of PbAE and can stably load hydrophobic molecules under neutral pH, while quickly dissociate and release their cargoes at pH ≈ 6.0. When the chemotherapy drug DOX is loaded, the micelles show efficient cell proliferation inhibition to HeLa cells and fast intracellular release. Thus, the primary-amine-based PbAEs are shown to be promising in the construction of intracellular targeting drug delivery systems.