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Nano Lett. 2012 Apr 11;12(4):2165-70. doi: 10.1021/nl300630c. Epub 2012 Mar 19.

Triple stimulus-responsive polypeptide nanoparticles that enhance intratumoral spatial distribution.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, 136 Hudson Hall, Box 90281, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA.


To address the limited tumor penetration of nanoparticle drug delivery vehicles, we report the first pH-responsive polypeptide micelle that dissociates at the low extracellular pH of solid tumors. This histidine-rich elastin-like polypeptide block copolymer self-assembles at 37 °C into spherical micelles that are stabilized by Zn(2+) and are disrupted as the pH drops from 7.4 to 6.4. These pH-sensitive micelles demonstrate better in vivo penetration and distribution in tumors than a pH-insensitive control.

© 2012 American Chemical Society

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