Indexed on: 13 May '17Published on: 05 May '17Published in: Biomacromolecules
Described is the development of a polymeric micelle drug delivery platform that addresses the physical property limitations of many nanovectors. The system employs triblock copolymers comprised of a hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) block, and two poly(amino acid) (PAA) blocks: a stabilizing cross-linking central block, and a hydrophobic drug encapsulation block. Detailed description of synthetic strategies and considerations found to be critical are discussed. Of note, it was determined that the purity of the α-amino acid-N-carboxyanhydrides (NCA) monomers and PEG macroinitiator are ultimately responsible for impurities that arise during the polymerization. Also, contrary to current beliefs in the field, the presence of water does not adversely affect the polymerization of NCAs. Furthermore, we describe the impact of poly(amino acid) conformational changes, through the incorporation of d-amino acids to form mixed stereochemistry PAA blocks, with regard to the physical and pharmacokinetic properties of the resulting micelles.