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J Phys Chem B. 2013 Feb 7;117(5):1261-8. doi: 10.1021/jp310677p. Epub 2013 Jan 23.

pH-responsive mechanism of a deoxycholic acid and folate comodified chitosan micelle under cancerous environment.

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Key Laboratory of Molecular Nanostructure and Nanotechnology, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.


Smart pH-responsive polymeric micelles have attracted much attention as one of the most promising drug delivery candidates. In this paper, a different substitution of deoxycholic acid (DCA) and folic acid (FA) comodified hydroxypropyl chitosans (HPCHS) were synthesized for doxorubicin (DOX) targeted delivery and controllable release. The results indicate that the DOX-release behavior is pH-responsive and closely related with the grafting proportions of the two hydrophobic ingredients. The pH-responsive mechanism for the optimized (6%DCA)-HPCHS-(0.1%FA) was suggested, resulting from a synergistic effect of gradual hydrolysis of the amido bond and electrostatic repulsion between the subsequently protonated DOX and the amino residue of the chitosan backbone under a cancerous microenvironment. Moreover, the DOX/(6%DCA)-HPCHS-(0.1%FA) micelle as a promising targeted drug delivery system in cancer therapy was evaluated by cell growth inhibition assays and confocal laser microscopy in vitro. The results clearly demonstrate a controlled release of its cargo and promoted curative efficacy of DOX.

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