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Zhao J.,Tianjin University | Zhao J.,Key Laboratory of Systems Bioengineering of the Ministry of Education | Liu J.,Peking Union Medical College | Xu S.,Key Laboratory of Systems Bioengineering of the Ministry of Education | And 7 more authors.
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces | Year: 2013

Nanoparticle (NP)-assisted drug delivery systems with disassemblable behaviors in response to intracellular microenvironment are urgently demanded in systemic cancer chemotherapy for enhanced intracellular drug release. Curcumin (CUR), an effective and safe anticancer agent, was limited by its water insolubility and poor bioavailability. Herein, pH and reduction dual-induced disassemblable NPs for high loading efficiency and improved intracellular release of CUR were developed based on an acid degradable cyclic benzylidene acetal groups (CBAs)-functionalized poly(2,4,6-trimethoxybenzylidene-1,1,1- tris(hydroxymethyl)ethane methacrylate)-g-SS-poly(ethylene glycol) (PTTMA-g-SS-PEG) graft copolymer, which was readily prepared via RAFT copolymerization and coupling reaction. The NPs self-assembled from PTTMA-g-SS-PEG copolymers were stable at physiological pH, and quickly disassembled in mildly acidic and reductive environments because of the hydrolysis of CBAs in hydrophobic PTTMA core and the cleavage of disulfide-linked detachable PEG shell. PTTMA-g-SS-PEG NPs exhibited excellent CUR loading capacity with drug loading content up to 19.2% and entrapment efficiency of 96.0%. Within 20 h in vitro, less than 15.0% of CUR was released from the CUR-loaded NPs in normal physiological conditions, whereas 94.3% was released in the presence of reductive agent and mildly acidic conditions analogous to the microenvironment in endosome/lysosome and cytoplasm. Confocal fluorescence microscopies revealed that the CUR-loaded PTTMA-g-SS-PEG NPs exhibited more efficiently intracellular CUR release for EC-109 cells than that of CUR-loaded reduction-unresponsive PTTMA-g-PEG NPs and free CUR. In vitro cytotoxicity studies displayed blank PTTMA-g-SS-PEG NPs showed low toxicity at concentrations up to 1.0 mg/mL, whereas CUR-loaded PTTMA-g-SS-PEG NPs demonstrated more efficient growth inhibition toward EC-109 and HepG-2 cells than reduction-unresponsive controls and free CUR. Therefore, the above results indicated that pH and reduction dual-induced disassemblable PTTMA-g-SS-PEG NPs may have emerged as superior nanocarriers for active loading and promoted intracellular drug delivery in systemic cancer chemotherapy. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

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