by Keyword: Micelles

Olea, AR, Jurado, A, Slor, G, Tevet, S, Pujals, S, De La Rosa, VR, Hoogenboom, R, Amir, RJ, Albertazzi, L, (2023). Reaching the Tumor: Mobility of Polymeric Micelles Inside an In Vitro Tumor-on-a-Chip Model with Dual ECM Acs Applied Materials & Interfaces 15, 59134-59144

Degradable polymeric micelles are promising drug delivery systems due to their hydrophobic core and responsive design. When applying micellar nanocarriers for tumor delivery, one of the bottlenecks encountered in vivo is the tumor tissue barrier: crossing the dense mesh of cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM). Sometimes overlooked, the extracellular matrix can trap nanoformulations based on charge, size, and hydrophobicity. Here, we used a simple design of a microfluidic chip with two types of ECM and MCF7 spheroids to allow high-throughput screening of the interactions between biological interfaces and polymeric micelles. To demonstrate the applicability of the chip, a small library of fluorescently labeled polymeric micelles varying in their hydrophilic shell and hydrophobic core forming blocks was studied. Three widely used hydrophilic shells were tested and compared, namely, poly(ethylene glycol), poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline), and poly(acrylic acid), along with two enzymatically degradable dendritic hydrophobic cores (based on hexyl or nonyl end groups). Using ratiometric imaging of unimer:micelle fluorescence and FRAP inside the chip model, we obtained the local assembly state and dynamics inside the chip. Notably, we observed different micelle behaviors in the basal lamina ECM, from avoidance of the ECM structure to binding of the poly(acrylic acid) formulations. Binding to the basal lamina correlated with higher uptake into MCF7 spheroids. Overall, we proposed a simple microfluidic chip containing dual ECM and spheroids for the assessment of the interactions of polymeric nanocarriers with biological interfaces and evaluating nanoformulations' capacity to cross the tumor tissue barrier.

JTD Keywords: Extracellular matrix, Microfluidics, Nanoparticle mobility, Polymeric micelles, Tumor-on-a-chip

Molina, BG, Ocón, G, Silva, FM, Iribarren, JI, Armelin, E, Alemán, C, (2023). Thermally-induced shape memory behavior of polylactic acid/ polycaprolactone blends European Polymer Journal 196, 112230

A study of the shape memory effect on extruded polylactic acid (PLA) and polycaprolactone (PCL) blends, which were transformed into films and movable components of articulated specimens by hot pressing and 3D printing, respectively, is presented. After characterizing their chemical structure by FTIR spectroscopy and their wetta-bility, the thermal properties and mechanical response of the blends were evaluated and compared with those of neat PLA and PCL. The blends exhibited very good interfacial adhesion between the phases, even though they are immiscible polymers. The thermoresponsive shape memory effects of neat PLA, neat PCL and PLA/PCL blends with different compositions (90/30, 70/30 and 50/50 w/w%) were evaluated considering three consecutive heating-cooling cycles. Comparison of the initial permanent state geometry with the geometries achieved after each heating-cooling cycle for both films and 3D printed specimens, evidenced that the 70/30 w/w% blend exhibited the best behavior. Thus, the blends obtained with such composition showed the maximum reversibility between the temporary and permanent states (i.e. highest shape recovery capability) and shape fixing of such two states.

JTD Keywords: 3d printing, Fibers, Films, Poly(lactic acid), Polycaprolactone, Polylactic acid, Polymer, Shape fixing, Shape-memory polymers, Unimolecular micelles

Almadhi, S, Forth, J, Rodriguez-Arco, L, Duro-Castano, A, Williams, I, Ruiz-Pérez, L, Battaglia, G, (2023). Bottom-Up Preparation of Phase-Separated Polymersomes Macromolecular Bioscience 23, 2300068

A bottom-up approach to fabricating monodisperse, two-component polymersomes that possess phase-separated ("patchy") chemical topology is presented. This approach is compared with already-existing top-down preparation methods for patchy polymer vesicles, such as film rehydration. These findings demonstrate a bottom-up, solvent-switch self-assembly approach that produces a high yield of nanoparticles of the target size, morphology, and surface topology for drug delivery applications, in this case patchy polymersomes of a diameter of ≈50 nm. In addition, an image processing algorithm to automatically calculate polymersome size distributions from transmission electron microscope images based on a series of pre-processing steps, image segmentation, and round object identification is presented.© 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

JTD Keywords: assemblies, copolymers, evolution, membranes, micelles, ph, phase separation, polymersomes, rafts, self-assembly, size, vesicles, Cell biology, Drug delivery, Phase separation, Polymersomes, Self-assembly, Vesicles

Duro-Castano, A, Rodríguez-Arco, L, Ruiz-Pérez, L, De Pace, C, Marchello, G, Noble-Jesus, C, Battaglia, G, (2021). One-Pot Synthesis of Oxidation-Sensitive Supramolecular Gels and Vesicles Biomacromolecules 22, 5052-5064

Polypeptide-based nanoparticles offer unique advantages from a nanomedicine perspective such as biocompatibility, biodegradability, and stimuli-responsive properties to (patho)physiological conditions. Conventionally, self-assembled polypeptide nanostructures are prepared by first synthesizing their constituent amphiphilic polypeptides followed by postpolymerization self-assembly. Herein, we describe the one-pot synthesis of oxidation-sensitive supramolecular micelles and vesicles. This was achieved by polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) of the N-carboxyanhydride (NCA) precursor of methionine using poly(ethylene oxide) as a stabilizing and hydrophilic block in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). By adjusting the hydrophobic block length and concentration, we obtained a range of morphologies from spherical to wormlike micelles, to vesicles. Remarkably, the secondary structure of polypeptides greatly influenced the final morphology of the assemblies. Surprisingly, wormlike micellar morphologies were obtained for a wide range of methionine block lengths and solid contents, with spherical micelles restricted to very short hydrophobic lengths. Wormlike micelles further assembled into oxidation-sensitive, self-standing gels in the reaction pot. Both vesicles and wormlike micelles obtained using this method demonstrated to degrade under controlled oxidant conditions, which would expand their biomedical applications such as in sustained drug release or as cellular scaffolds in tissue engineering.

JTD Keywords: alpha-amino-acid, hydrogels, leuchs anhydrides, platform, polypeptides, transformation, triggered cargo release, Amino acids, Amphiphilics, Biocompatibility, Biodegradability, Block lengths, Controlled drug delivery, Dimethyl sulfoxide, Ethylene, Gels, Hydrophobicity, Medical nanotechnology, Methionine, Micelles, Morphology, One-pot synthesis, Organic solvents, Oxidation, Physiological condition, Polyethylene oxides, Post-polymerization, Ring-opening polymerization, Scaffolds (biology), Self assembly, Stimuli-responsive properties, Supramolecular chemistry, Supramolecular gels, Supramolecular micelles, Wormlike micelle

Fernanda, Andrade, Pedro, Fonte, Ana, Costa, Cassilda Cunha, Reis, Rute, Nunes, Andreia, Almeida, Domingos, Ferreira, Mireia, Oliva, Bruno, Sarmento, (2016). Pharmacological and toxicological assessment of innovative self-assembled polymeric micelles as powders for insulin pulmonary delivery Nanomedicine 11, (17), 2305-2317

Aim: Explore the use of polymeric micelles in the development of powders intended for pulmonary delivery of biopharmaceuticals, using insulin as a model protein. Materials & methods: Formulations were assessed in vitro for aerosolization properties and in vivo for efficacy and safety using a streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat model. Results: Powders presented good aerosolization properties like fine particle fraction superior to 40% and a mass median aerodynamic diameter inferior of 6 μm. Endotracheally instilled powders have shown a faster onset of action than subcutaneous administration of insulin at a dose of 10 IU/kg, with pharmacological availabilities up to 32.5% of those achieved by subcutaneous route. Additionally, micelles improved the hypoglycemic effect of insulin. Bronchoalveolar lavage screening for toxicity markers (e.g., lactate dehydrogenase, cytokines) revealed no signs of lung inflammation and cytotoxicity 14 days postadministration. Conclusion: Developed powders showed promising safety and efficacy characteristics for the systemic delivery of insulin by pulmonary administration.

JTD Keywords: Fine particle fraction, Inhalation, Insulin, In vivo, Pharmacological availability, Polymeric micelles, Pulmonary toxicity

Andrade, F., Neves, J. D., Gener, P., Schwartz, S., Ferreira, D., Oliva, M., Sarmento, B., (2015). Biological assessment of self-assembled polymeric micelles for pulmonary administration of insulin Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine 11, (7), 1621-1631

Pulmonary delivery of drugs for both local and systemic action has gained new attention over the last decades. In this work, different amphiphilic polymers (Soluplus®, Pluronic® F68, Pluronic® F108 and Pluronic® F127) were used to produce lyophilized formulations for inhalation of insulin. Development of stimuli-responsive, namely glucose-sensitive, formulations was also attempted with the addition of phenylboronic acid (PBA). Despite influencing the in vitro release of insulin from micelles, PBA did not confer glucose-sensitive properties to formulations. Lyophilized powders with aerodynamic diameter (<. 6. μm) compatible with good deposition in the lungs did not present significant in vitro toxicity for respiratory cell lines. Additionally, some formulations, in particular Pluronic® F127-based formulations, enhanced the permeation of insulin through pulmonary epithelial models and underwent minimal internalization by macrophages in vitro. Overall, formulations based on polymeric micelles presenting promising characteristics were developed for the delivery of insulin by inhalation. From the Clinical Editor: The ability to deliver other systemic drugs via inhalation has received renewed interests in the clinical setting. This is especially true for drugs which usually require injections for delivery, like insulin. In this article, the authors investigated their previously developed amphiphilic polymers for inhalation of insulin in an in vitro model. The results should provide basis for future in vivo studies.

JTD Keywords: Cytotoxicity, Inhalation, Permeability, Phagocytosis, Polymeric micelles, Protein delivery

Andrade, F., Fonte, P., Oliva, M., Videira, M., Ferreira, D., Sarmento, B., (2015). Solid state formulations composed by amphiphilic polymers for delivery of proteins: Characterization and stability International Journal of Pharmaceutics 486, (1-2), 195-206

Abstract Nanocomposite powders composed by polymeric micelles as vehicles for delivery proteins were developed in this work, using insulin as model protein. Results showed that size and polydispersity of micelles were dependent on the amphiphilic polymer used, being all lower than 300 nm, while all the formulations displayed spherical shape and surface charge close to neutrality. Percentages of association efficiency and loading capacity up to 94.15 ± 3.92 and 8.56 ± 0.36, respectively, were obtained. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements confirmed that insulin was partially present at the hydrophilic shell of the micelles. Lyophilization did not significantly change the physical characteristics of micelles, further providing easily dispersion when in contact to aqueous medium. The native-like conformation of insulin was maintained at high percentages (around 80%) after lyophilization as indicated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and far-UV circular dichroism (CD). Moreover, Raman spectroscopy did not evidenced significant interactions among the formulation components. The formulations shown to be physically stable upon storage up to 6 months both at room-temperature (20 C) and fridge (4 C), with only a slight loss (maximum of 15%) of the secondary structure of the protein. Among the polymers tested, Pluronic® F127 produced the carrier formulations more promising for delivery of proteins.

JTD Keywords: Amphiphilic polymers, Insulin, Lyophilization, Polymeric micelles, Stability