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Macrocycle-Based Polymer Nanocapsules for Hypoxia-Responsive Payload Delivery

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journal contribution
posted on 14.02.2020, 14:05 by Chen Sun, Ludan Yue, Qian Cheng, Ziyi Wang, Ruibing Wang
Hypoxia is a typical hallmark in several disease conditions, particularly in solid tumors. Thus, hypoxia-responsive nanocarriers that may specifically deliver and release payload under hypoxic conditions have been highly sought after, for precision medicine. Herein, we report the first hypoxia-responsive, covalently self-assembled polymer nanocapsules (NCs), formed via directly crosslinking perhydroxycucurbit[6]­uril with a ditopic, hypoxia-responsive azobenzene derivative (AZO). Because of the presence of macrocyclic cucurbit[6]­uril, the hypoxia-responsive nanocapsules (AZO-NCs) allowed modular, noncovalent surface functionalization. As a proof-of-concept, folate-functionalized AZO-NCs exhibited targeted payload delivery into cancer cells, and more importantly, hypoxia-responsive payload release was validated both in vitro and in vivo.