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Synthesis of three-arm block copolymer poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)–poly(ethylene glycol) with oxalyl chloride and its application in hydrophobic drug delivery

Authors Zhu X, Liu C, Duan J, Liang X, Li X, Sun H, Kong D, Yang J

Received 10 August 2016

Accepted for publication 11 October 2016

Published 15 November 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 6065—6077


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Xiaowei Zhu,* Chao Liu,* Jianwei Duan, Xiaoyu Liang, Xuanling Li, Hongfan Sun, Deling Kong, Jing Yang

Tianjin Key Laboratory of Biomaterial Research, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Medical Science and Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: Synthesis of star-shaped block copolymer with oxalyl chloride and preparation of micelles to assess the prospect for drug-carrier applications.
Materials and methods: Three-arm star block copolymers of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (3S-PLGA)–polyethylene glycol (PEG) were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization, then PEG as the hydrophilic block was linked to the terminal hydroxyl of 3S-PLGA with oxalyl chloride. Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, gel-permeation chromatography (GPC), hydrogen nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectra, and differential scanning calorimetry were employed to identify the structure and properties of 3S-PLGA-PEG. Rapamycin (RPM)-loaded micelles were prepared by solvent evaporation, and pyrene was used as the fluorescence probe to detect the critical micelle concentration of the copolymer. The particle size, distribution, and ζ-potential of the micelles were determined by dynamic light scattering, and the morphology of the RPM-loaded micelles was analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. High-performance liquid chromatography was conducted to analyze encapsulation efficiency and drug-loading capacity, as well as the release behavior of RPM-loaded micelles. The biocompatibility of material and the cytostatic effect of RPM-loaded micelles were investigated by Cell Counting Kit 8 assay.
Results: FT-IR, GPC, and 1H-NMR suggested that 3S-PLGA-PEG was successfully synthesized. The RPM-loaded micelles prepared with the 3S-PLGA-PEG possessed good properties. The micelles had good average diameter and encapsulation efficiency. For in vitro release, RPM was released slowly from 3S-PLGA-PEG micelles, showing that 3S-PLGA-PEG-RPM exhibited a better and longer antiproliferative effect than free RPM.
Conclusion: In this study, we first used oxalyl chloride as the linker to synthesize 3S-PLGA-PEG successfully, and compared with reported literature, this method shortened the reaction procedure and improved the reaction yield. The micelles prepared with this material proved suitable for drug-carrier application.

block copolymer, RPM, micelles, cytostatic effect

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