Indexed on: 20 Mar '08Published on: 20 Mar '08Published in: Langmuir
Shell cross-linked (SCL) thermoresponsive hybrid micelles consisting of a cross-linked thermoresponsive hybrid hydrophilic shell and a hydrophobic core domain were synthesized from poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-3- (trimethoxysilyl)propyl methacrylate)-b-polymethyl methacrylate (P(NIPAAm-co-MPMA)-b-PMMA) amphiphilic block copolymers. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images showed that the SCL micelles formed regularly globular nanoparticles. The SCL 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 turbidity measurements and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The drug loading and in vitro drug release properties of the SCL micelles bearing a silica-reinforced PNIPAAm shell were further studied, which showed that the SCL micelles exhibited a much improved entrapment efficiency (EE) as well as a slower release rate which allowed the entrapped molecules to be slowly released over a much longer period of time as compared with pure PNIPAAm-b-PMMA micelles.