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Keywords:

  • biocompatibility;
  • drug delivery systems;
  • hyperbranched

Abstract

Four types of drug nanoparticles (NPs) based on amphiphilic hyperbranched block copolymers were developed for the delivery of the chemotherapeutic doxorubicin (DOX) to breast cancer cells. These carriers have their hydrophobic interior layer composed of the hyperbranched aliphatic polyester, Boltorn® H30 or Boltorn® H40, that are polymers of poly 2,2-bis (methylol) propionic acid (bis-MPA), while the outer hydrophilic shell was composed of about 5 poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) segments of 5 or 10 kDa molecular weight. A chemotherapeutic drug DOX, was further encapsulated in the interior of these polymer micelles and was shown to exhibit a controlled release profile. Dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy analysis confirmed that the NPs were uniformly sized with a mean hydrodynamic diameter around 110 nm. DOX-loaded H30-PEG10k NPs exhibited controlled release over longer periods of time and greater cytotoxicity compared with the other materials developed against our tested breast cancer cell lines. Additionally, flow cytometry and confocal scanning laser microscopy studies indicated that the cancer cells could internalize the DOX-loaded H30-PEG10k NPs, which contributed to the sustained drug release, and induced more apoptosis than free DOX did. These findings indicate that the H30-PEG10k NPs may offer a very promising approach for delivering drugs to cancer cells. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2012