Self-assembled micelles of biodegradable triblock copolymers based on poly(ethyl ethylene phosphate) and poly(-caprolactone) as drug carriers.Biomacromolecules 2008; 9(1):388-95B
A series of novel amphiphilic triblock copolymers of poly(ethyl ethylene phosphate) and poly(-caprolactone) (PEEP-PCL-PEEP) with various PEEP and PCL block lengths were synthesized and characterized. These triblock copolymers formed micelles composed of a hydrophobic core of poly(-caprolactone) (PCL) and a hydrophilic shell of poly(ethyl ethylene phosphate) (PEEP) in aqueous solution. The micelle morphology was spherical, determined by transmission electron microscopy. It was found that the size and critical micelle concentration values of the micelles depended on both hydrophobic PCL block length and PEEP hydrophilic block length. The in vitro degradation characteristics of the triblock copolymers were investigated in micellar form, showing that these copolymers were completely biodegradable under enzymatic catalysis of Pseudomonas lipase and phosphodiesterase I. These triblock copolymers were used for paclitaxel (PTX) encapsulation to demonstrate the potential in drug delivery. PTX was successfully loaded into the micelles, and the in vitro release profile was found to be correlative to the polymer composition. These biodegradable triblock copolymer micelles are potential as novel carriers for hydrophobic drug delivery.