Researchers engineer self-assembling micelles for drug delivery

Nanowerk News gives us an update on micelles, which are nanoparticles with a core-shell structure. Like many nanoparticles that are potential vehicles for targeted drug delivery, they come with a drawback: they can only carry a small amount of a drug and can dissociate quickly in the bloodstream when they come into contact with proteins. Researchers from A*STAR Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore and from the IBM Almaden Research Center say they have found a way around this problem: a polymer that self-assembles into micelles with high loading capacity and stability in the body.

"There are micelles that can transport large amounts of drugs, but their synthesis is usually tedious, expensive and gives low yields," A*STAR researcher Yiyan Yang said in a news release. "We have now developed an approach to produce biodegradable and biocompatible polycarbonate copolymers that form uniformly sized micelles in high yields from inexpensive starting materials. Furthermore, the synthesis can be scaled up for future clinical applications."

When the researchers tested the micelles for drug delivery in vitro, they steadily released doxorubin to cancer cells, killing them efficiently. The next step is a search for collaborators as they conduct animal studies.

- read the report in Nanowerk News