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Self-Assembled Monomethoxy (Polyethylene Glycol)-b-P(D,L-Lactic-co-Glycolic Acid)-b-P(L-Glutamic Acid) Hybrid-Core Nanoparticles for Intracellular pH-Triggered Release of Doxorubicin

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Triblock copolymers, Monomethoxy (Polyethylene glycol)-b-P(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid)-b-P(L-glutamic acid) (mPEGPLGA-PGlu) with different molecular weights, were synthesized and mPEG5k -PLGA20.5k -PGlu7.9k were self-assembled into negatively charged nanoparticles with a hybrid core of PLGA and PGlu, and a stealth PEG shell. Because of electrostatic interaction with the negative hybrid-core, the model drug, doxorubicin (DOX), could be easily loaded into the hybrid-core nanoparticles with a high drug loading of ca. 25%. The hydrophobic interaction provided by PLGA could increase the stability of drug-loaded nanoparticles with no change in particle size for at least 3 days and only minor drug leakage (< 0.5%) in pH7.4 physiological media. Due to protonation of PGlu block in pH5.0 medium, the hybrid-core of these nanoparticles was destroyed, as shown by transmission electron microscopy, and this resulted in an increase in the pH-triggered release of DOX from 38.9% in pH7.4 release medium to 71% in pH5.0 release medium at 24 h. In vitro cytotoxicity testing involving MCF-7 and NCI-H460 cells showed that DOX-loaded nanoparticles were more cytotoxic to both types of cells than free DOX. Time-dependent cellular uptake of the drug-loaded nanoparticles was observed and at least 4 hours was required for rapid internalization through caveolinmediated endocytosis and macropinocytosis by MCF-7 cells into the endosomes where pH-trigged release of DOX from the nanoparticles occurred. The hybrid-core nanoparticles represent a potentially useful therapeutic delivery system for cationic drugs due to their high drug loading, high stability in physiological media and intracellular pH-triggered release.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2015

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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