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Biomaterials. 2018 Sep;178:738-750. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.01.051. Epub 2018 Feb 3.

Star polymer-based unimolecular micelles and their application in bio-imaging and diagnosis.

Author information

1
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China.
2
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China. Electronic address: tgs@sjtu.edu.cn.
3
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China. Electronic address: xyzhu@sjtu.edu.cn.

Abstract

As a novel kind of polymer with covalently linked core-shell structure, star polymers behave in nanostructure in aqueous medium at all concentration range, as unimolecular micelles at high dilution condition and multi-micelle aggregates in other situations. The unique morphologies endow star polymers with excellent stability and functions, making them a promising platform for bio-application. A variety of functions including imaging and therapeutics can be achieved through rational structure design of star polymers, and the existence of plentiful end-groups on shell offers the opportunity for further modification. In the last decades, star polymers have become an attracting platform on fabrication of novel nano-systems for bio-imaging and diagnosis. Focusing on the specific topology and physicochemical properties of star polymers, we have reviewed recent development of star polymer-based unimolecular micelles and their bio-application in imaging and diagnosis. The main content of this review summarizes the synthesis of integrated architecture of star polymers and their self-assembly behavior in aqueous medium, focusing especially on the recent advances on their bio-imaging application and diagnosis use. Finally, we conclude with remarks and give some outlooks for further exploration in this field.

KEYWORDS:

Bio-imaging; Diagnosis; Multi-micelle aggregates; Star polymer; Unimolecular micelles

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