American Chemical Society
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Fabrication of Functional Nano-objects through RAFT Dispersion Polymerization and Influences of Morphology on Drug Delivery

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-07-11, 17:48 authored by Liang Qiu, Chao-Ran Xu, Feng Zhong, Chun-Yan Hong, Cai-Yuan Pan
To study the influence of self-assembled morphologies on drug delivery, four different nano-objects, spheres, nanorods, nanowires, and vesicles having aldehdye-based polymer as core, were successfully prepared via alcoholic RAFT dispersion polymerization of p-(methacryloxyethoxy)­benzaldehyde (MAEBA) using poly­((N,N′-dimethylamino)­ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) as a macro chain transfer agent (macro-CTA) for the first time. The morphologies and sizes of the four nano-objects were characterized by TEM and DLS, and the spheres with average diameter (D) of 70 nm, the nanorods with D of 19 nm and length of 140 nm, and the vesicles with D of 137 nm were used in the subsequent cellular internalization, in vitro release, and intracellular release of the drug. The anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) was conjugated onto the core polymers of nano-objects through condensation reaction between aldehyde groups of the PMAEBA with primary amine groups in the DOX. Because the aromatic imine is stable under neutral conditions, but is decomposed in a weakly acidic solution, in vitro release of the DOX from the DOX-loaded nano-objects was investigated in the different acidic solutions. All of the block copolymer nano-objects show very low cytotoxicity to HeLa cells up to the concentration of 1.2 mg/mL, but the DOX-loaded nano-objects reveal different cell viability and their IC50s increase as the following order: nanorods-DOX < vesicles-DOX < spheres-DOX. The IC50 of nanowires-DOX is the biggest among the four nano-objects owing to their too large size to be internalized. Endocytosis tests demonstrate that the internalization of vesicles-DOX by the HeLa cells is faster than that of the nanorods-DOX, and the spheres-DOX are the slowest to internalize among the studied nano-objects. Relatively more nanorods localized in the acidic organelles of the HeLa cells lead to faster intracellular release of the DOX, so the IC50 of nanorods is lower than that of the vesicles-DOX.