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Biomaterials. 2011 Aug;32(23):5417-26. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.04.006. Epub 2011 May 4.

Folate-decorated nanogels for targeted therapy of ovarian cancer.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Center for Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine College of Pharmacy, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 985830 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-5830, USA.


Nanogels are comprised of swollen polymer networks and nearly 95% water and can entrap diverse chemical and biological agents for cancer therapy with very high loading capacities. Here we use diblock copolymer poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(methacrylic acid) (PEO-b-PMA) to form nanogels with the desired degree of cross-linking. The nanogels are further conjugated to folic acid (FA) and loaded with different types of drugs (cisplatin, doxorubicin). For the first time we demonstrate a tumor-specific delivery and superior anti-tumor effect in vivo of an anti-cancer drug using these polyelectrolyte nanogels decorated with folate-targeting groups. This reinforces the use of nanogels for the therapy of ovarian and other cancers, where folate receptor (FR) is overexpressed.

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