Self-assembled thermoresponsive micelles of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-b-methyl methacrylate).

Research paper by Hua H Wei, Xian-Zheng XZ Zhang, Ying Y Zhou, Si-Xue SX Cheng, Ren-Xi RX Zhuo

Indexed on: 18 Oct '05Published on: 18 Oct '05Published in: Biomaterials


To achieve a combination of spatial specificity in a passive manner with a stimuli-response targeting mechanism, a temperature-responsive polymeric micelle was prepared using block copolymers of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-b-methyl methacrylate) (PNIPAAm-b-PMMA). The critical micelle concentration of amphiphilic block copolymers in aqueous solution was determined by fluorescence spectroscopy using pyrene as a fluorescence probe. Transmission electron microscopy images showed that these nanoparticles were regularly spherical in shape. Micelle size determined by size analysis was around 190 nm. The micelles showed reversible dispersion/aggregation in response to temperature cycles through an outer polymer shell lower critical solution temperature (LCST) for PNIPAAm at around 33 degrees C, observed by optical absorbance measurements and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The anti-inflammation drug prednisone acetate was loaded as the model drug in the polymeric nanoparticles. In vitro release behavior of prednisone acetate was investigated, which showed a dramatic thermoresponsive fast/slow switching behavior according to the temperature-responsive structural changes of a micellar shell structure. The reversible and sensitive thermoresponse of this micelle might provide opportunities to construct a novel drug delivery system in conjunction with localized hyperthermia.