Poly(ethyl glyoxylate)-Poly(ethylene oxide) Nanoparticles: Stimuli-Responsive Drug Release via End-to-End Polyglyoxylate Depolymerization
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© 2017 American Chemical Society. The ability to disrupt polymer assemblies in response to specific stimuli provides the potential to release drugs selectively at certain sites or conditions in vivo. However, most stimuli-responsive delivery systems require many stimuli-initiated events to release drugs. "Self-immolative polymers" offer the potential to provide amplified responses to stimuli as they undergo complete end-to-end depolymerization following the cleavage of a single end-cap. Herein, linker end-caps were developed to conjugate self-immolative poly(ethyl glyoxylate) (PEtG) with poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) to form amphiphilic block copolymers. These copolymers were self-assembled to form nanoparticles in aqueous solution. Cleavage of the linker end-caps were triggered by a thiol reducing agent, UV light, H2O2, and combinations of these stimuli, resulting in nanoparticle disintegration. Low stimuli concentrations were effective in rapidly disrupting the nanoparticles. Nile red, doxorubin, and curcumin were encapsulated into the nanoparticles and were selectively released upon application of the appropriate stimulus. The ability to tune the stimuli-responsiveness simply by changing the linker end-cap makes this new platform highly attractive for applications in drug delivery.