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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 507103, 11 pages
Research Article

Novel 4-Arm Poly(Ethylene Glycol)-Block-Poly(Anhydride-Esters) Amphiphilic Copolymer Micelles Loading Curcumin: Preparation, Characterization, and In Vitro Evaluation

1School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
2School of Pharmacy, Hubei University of Science and Technology, Xianning 437100, China

Received 8 April 2013; Accepted 2 June 2013

Academic Editor: Ajit S. Narang

Copyright © 2013 Li Lv et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A novel 4-arm poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(anhydride-esters) amphiphilic copolymer (4-arm PEG-b-PAE) was synthesized by esterization of 4-arm poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(anhydride-esters) which was obtained by melt polycondensation of α-, ω-acetic anhydride terminated poly(L-lactic acid). The obtained 4-arm PEG-b-PAE was characterized by 1H-NMR and gel permeation chromatography. The critical micelle concentration of 4-arm PEG-b-PAE was 2.38 μg/mL. The curcumin-loaded 4-arm PEG-b-PAE micelles were prepared by a solid dispersion method and the drug loading content and encapsulation efficiency of the micelles were 7.0% and 85.2%, respectively. The curcumin-loaded micelles were spherical with a hydrodynamic diameter of 151.9 nm. Curcumin was encapsulated within 4-arm PEG-b-PAE micelles amorphously and released from the micelles, faster in pH 5.0 than pH 7.4, presenting one biphasic drug release pattern with rapid release at the initial stage and slow release later. The hemolysis rate of the curcumin-loaded 4-arm PEG-b-PAE micelles was 3.18%, which was below 5%. The IC50 value of the curcumin-loaded micelles against Hela cells was 10.21 μg/mL, lower than the one of free curcumin (25.90 μg/mL). The cellular uptake of the curcumin-loaded micelles in Hela cell increased in a time-dependent manner. The curcumin-loaded micelles could induce G2/M phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of Hela cells.