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Biomacromolecules. 2006 Jun;7(6):1864-70.

Temperature-sensitive pluronic/poly(ethylenimine) nanocapsules for thermally triggered disruption of intracellular endosomal compartment.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, South Korea 305-701.


Pluronic hydrogel nanoparticles cross-linked with poly(ethylenimine) (PEI) were synthesized by a modified emulsification/solvent evaporation method. Pluronic F-127 preactivated at the terminal group with p-nitrophenyl chloroformate was dissolved in dichloromethane, and the organic solution was emulsified in deionized water containing PEI by sonication. Primary amine groups of PEI in the aqueous phase were conjugated and/or cross-linked with activated Pluronic F-127 in the vicinity of the water/dichloromethane interface, resulting in the formation of shell-cross-linked Pluronic/PEI nanocapsules. Pluronic/PEI nanocapsules exhibited a volume transition behavior over a temperature range of 24-33 degrees C. The thermally reversible swelling/deswelling of Pluronic/PEI nanocapsules was caused by temperature-dependent hydrophobic interaction of cross-linked and/or grafted Pluronic polymer chains in the nanocapsules. Pluronic/PEI nanocapsules were utilized to break up intracellular endosomal compartments by swelling-induced destabilization of the endosomal membrane triggered by a cold-shock treatment.

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