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PH- And Thermo-responsive Microcontainers As Potential Drug Delivery Systems: Morphological Characteristic, Release And Cytotoxicity Studies.

E. K. Efthimiadou, C. Tapeinos, Leto-Aikaterini Tziveleka, N. Boukos, G. Kordas
Published 2014 · Materials Science, Medicine

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Polymeric pH- and thermo-sensitive microcontainers (MCs) were developed as a potential drug delivery system for cancer therapy. It is well known that cancer cells exhibit notable characteristics such as acidic pH due to glycolytic cycle and higher temperature due to their higher proliferation rate. Based on these characteristics, we constructed a dual pH- and thermo-sensitive material for specific drug release on the pathological tissue. The MC's fabrication is based on a two-step procedure, in which, the first step involves the core synthesis and the second one is related to the shell formation. The core consists of poly(methyl methacrylate (PMMA), while the shell consists of PMMA, poly(isopropylacrylamide), poly(acrylic acid) and poly(divinylbenzene). Three different types of MCs were synthesized based on the seed polymerization method. The synthesized MCs were characterized structurally by Fourier transform infrared and morphologically by scanning electron microscopy. Dynamic light scattering was also used to study their behavior in aqueous solution under different pH and temperature conditions. For the loading and release study, the anthracycline drug daunorubicin (DNR) was used as a model drug, and its release properties were evaluated under different pH and thermo-conditions. Cytotoxicity studies were also carried out against MCF-7 breast cancer and 3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblast cells. According to our results, the synthesized microcontainers present desired pH and thermo behavior and can be applied in drug delivery systems. It is worth mentioning that the synthesized microcontainers which incorporated the drug DNR exhibit higher toxicity than the free drug.
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