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Synthesis, self-assembly, drug-release behavior, and cytotoxicity of triblock and pentablock copolymers composed of poly(ε-caprolactone), poly(L-lactide), and poly(ethylene glycol)

Authors

  • Lin Sun,

    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China
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  • Lin-Jing Shen,

    1. Biomedical Engineering Center, Hunan University, Changsha, Hunan 410082, People's Republic of China
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  • Ming-Qiang Zhu,

    1. Biomedical Engineering Center, Hunan University, Changsha, Hunan 410082, People's Republic of China
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  • Chang-Ming Dong,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China
    • Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China
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  • Yen Wei

    1. Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, People's Republic of China
    2. Department of Chemistry, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
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Abstract

Biocompatible and biodegradable ABC and ABCBA triblock and pentablock copolymers composed of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL), poly(L-lactide) (PLA), and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEO) with controlled molecular weights and low polydispersities were synthesized by a click conjugation between alkyne-terminated PCL-b-PLA and azide-terminated PEO. Their molecular structures, physicochemical and self-assembly properties were thoroughly characterized by means of FT-IR, 1H-NMR, gel permeation chromatography, differential scanning calorimetry, wide-angle X-ray diffraction, dynamic light scattering, and transmission electron microscopy. These copolymers formed microphase-separated crystalline materials in solid state, where the crystallization of PCL block was greatly restricted by both PEO and PLA blocks. These copolymers self-assembled into starlike and flowerlike micelles with a spherical morphology, and the micelles were stable over 27 days in aqueous solution at 37 °C. The doxorubicin (DOX) drug-loaded nanoparticles showed a bigger size with a similar spherical morphology compared to blank nanoparticles, demonstrating a biphasic drug-release profile in buffer solution and at 37 °C. Moreover, the DOX-loaded nanoparticles fabricated from the pentablock copolymer sustained a longer drug-release period (25 days) at pH 7.4 than those of the triblock copolymer. The blank nanoparticles showed good cell viability, whereas the DOX-loaded nanoparticles killed fewer cells than free DOX, suggesting a controlled drug-release effect. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2010

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