Cryo-SEM of polymers: Synthesis, characterisation, and in vitro cellular uptake kinetics of nanoprecipitated poly(2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine)-b-poly(2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (MPC-DPA) polymeric nanoparticle micelles for nanomedicine applications

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Applied Nanoscience, DOI 10.1007/s13204-016-0520-4


Abstract Nanoscience offers the potential for great advances in medical technology and therapies in the form of nanomedicine. As such, developing controllable, predictable, and effective, nanoparticle-based therapeutic systems remains a significant challenge. Many polymerbased nanoparticle systems have been reported to date, but few harness materials with accepted biocompatibility. Phosphorylcholine (PC) based biomimetic materials have along history of successful translation into effective commercial medical technologies. This study investigated thesynthesis, characterisation, nanoprecipitation, and in vitro cellular uptake kinetics of PC-based polymeric nanoparticle micelles (PNM) formed by the biocompatible and pH responsive block copolymer poly(2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine)-b-poly(2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (MPC-DPA). Atom transfer radical polymerisation (ATRP), and gel permeation chromatography (GPC) were used to synthesise and characterise the welldefined MPC100-DPA100 polymer, revealing organic GPC, using evaporative light scatter detection, to be more accurate than aqueous GPC for this application. Subsequent nanoprecipitation investigations utilising photoncorrelation spectroscopy (PCS) revealed PNM size increased with polymer concentration, and conferred Cryostability. PNM diameters ranged from circa 64–69 nm, and increased upon hydrophobic compound loading, circa 65–71 nm, with loading efficiencies of circa 60 % achieved, whilst remaining monodisperse. In vitro studies demonstrated that the PNM were of low cellular toxicity, with colony formation and MTT assays, utilising V79 and 3T3 cells, yielding comparable results. Investigation of the in vitro cellular uptake kinetics revealed rapid, 1 h, cellular uptake of MPC100-DPA100 PNM delivered fluorescent probes, with fluorescence persistence for 48 h. This paper presents the first report of these novel findings, which highlight the potential of the system for nanomedicine application development.

Keywords:  Nanomedicine  Phosphorylcholine  MPCDPA Micelle  Nanoparticle  Drug delivery


  • Jonathan P. Salvage
  • Tia Smith
  • Tao Lu
  • Amendeep Sanghera
  • Guy Standen
  • Yiqing Tang
  • Andrew L Lewis


Jonathan P. Salvage ([email protected])


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