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Mol Pharm. 2012 Jan 1;9(1):135-43. doi: 10.1021/mp200381c. Epub 2011 Dec 12.

Filamentous, mixed micelles of triblock copolymers enhance tumor localization of indocyanine green in a murine xenograft model.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, United States.

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  • Mol Pharm. 2012 Apr 2;9(4):1030.


Polymeric micelles formed by the self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers can be used to encapsulate hydrophobic drugs for tumor-delivery applications. Filamentous carriers with high aspect ratios offer potential advantages over spherical carriers, including prolonged circulation times. In this work, mixed micelles composed of poly(ethylene oxide)-poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate]-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO-PHB-PEO) and Pluronic F-127 (PF-127) were used to encapsulate a near-infrared fluorophore. The micelle formulations were assessed for tumor accumulation after tail vein injection to xenograft tumor-bearing mice by noninvasive optical imaging. The mixed micelle formulation that facilitated the highest tumor accumulation was shown by cryo-electron microscopy to be filamentous in structure compared to spherical structures of pure PF-127 micelles. In addition, increased dye loading efficiency and dye stability were attained in this mixed micelle formulation compared to pure PEO-PHB-PEO micelles. Therefore, the optimized PEO-PHB-PEO/PF-127 mixed micelle formulation offers advantages for cancer delivery over micelles formed from the individual copolymer components.

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