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Journal of Drug Delivery
Volume 2012, Article ID 951741, 8 pages
Research Article

A Versatile Polymer Micelle Drug Delivery System for Encapsulation and In Vivo Stabilization of Hydrophobic Anticancer Drugs

1Intezyne Inc., 3720 Spectrum Boulevard, Suite 104, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
2Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Received 27 July 2011; Accepted 15 October 2011

Academic Editor: Eliana B. Souto

Copyright © 2012 Jonathan Rios-Doria 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.


Chemotherapeutic drugs are widely used for the treatment of cancer; however, use of these drugs is often associated with patient toxicity and poor tumor delivery. Micellar drug carriers offer a promising approach for formulating and achieving improved delivery of hydrophobic chemotherapeutic drugs; however, conventional micelles do not have long-term stability in complex biological environments such as plasma. To address this problem, a novel triblock copolymer has been developed to encapsulate several different hydrophobic drugs into stable polymer micelles. These micelles have been engineered to be stable at low concentrations even in complex biological fluids, and to release cargo in response to low pH environments, such as in the tumor microenvironment or in tumor cell endosomes. The particle sizes of drugs encapsulated ranged between 30–80 nm, with no relationship to the hydrophobicity of the drug. Stabilization of the micelles below the critical micelle concentration was demonstrated using a pH-reversible crosslinking mechanism, with proof-of-concept demonstrated in both in vitro and in vivo models. Described herein is polymer micelle drug delivery system that enables encapsulation and stabilization of a wide variety of chemotherapeutic drugs in a single platform.