5 years ago

FRET-enabled monitoring of the thermosensitive nanoscale assembly of polymeric micelles into macroscale hydrogel and sequential cognate micelles release

Thermosensitive “micellar hydrogel” is prepared based on poly(ε-caprolactone-co- 1,4,8-trioxa[4.6]spiro-9-undecanone)-b-poly(ethylene glycol)- b-poly(ε-caprolactone- co-1,4,8-trioxa[4.6]spiro-9-undecanone) (PECT) triblock copolymer. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) is adopted to explore its assembly (formation) and disassembly (degradation) mechanism within the range of 10 nm. Results prove that the thermosensitive non-covalent aggregation of micelles facilitates the hydrogel formation and the sustained shedding of cognate micelles induces the hydrogel degradation, during which polymers are steadily incorporated in micelles without any micelle disassembly or reassembly. It is confirmed that using multiple-tags based imaging technology, such as FRET imaging, the fate of macro biodegradable materials in vitro and in vivo can be followed at a precise nano even molecular level. Such an unique hydrogel composed of nothing more than PECT micelles can act as not only an injectable nanomedicine reservoir by subcutaneous or peri-tissue administration, but also an advanced “combo” macroscale platform for co-delivery of multi-modal therapeutic agents. Our findings also indicate that biological stimuli (e.g., temperature, enzymes)-induced non-covalent micelle self-assembly may provide us an effective strategy to prepare a macroscale device from nanoscale subunits.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0142961217304623

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