Advanced Functional Materials, Vol.25, No.34, 5479-5491, 2015
Triphenylphosphonium-Conjugated Poly(epsilon-caprolactone)-Based Self-Assembled Nanostructures as Nanosized Drugs and Drug Delivery Carriers for Mitochondria-Targeting Synergistic Anticancer Drug Delivery
For mitochondria-targeting delivery, a coupling reaction between poly(epsilon-caprolactone) diol (PCL diol) and 4-carboxybutyltriphenylphosphonium (4-carboxybutyl TPP) results in the synthesis of amphiphilic TPP-PCL-TPP (TPCL) polymers with a bola-like structure. In aqueous environments, the TPCL polymer self-assembled via cosolvent dispersion and film hydration, resulting in the formation of cationic nanoparticles (NPs) less than 50 nm in size with zeta-potentials of approximately 40 mV. Interestingly, different preparation methods for TPCL NPs result in various morphologies such as nanovesicles, nanofibers, and nanosheets. In vitro cytotoxicity results with TPCL NPs indicate IC50 values of approximately 10-60 g mL(-1), suggesting their potential as anticancer nanodrugs. TPCL NPs can be loaded both with hydrophobic doxorubicin (Dox) and its hydrophilic salt form (DoxHCl), and their drug loading contents are approximately 2-10 wt% depending on the loading method and the hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of the drugs. Although DoxHCl exhibits more cellular and nuclear uptake, resulting in greater antitumor effects than Dox, most drug-loaded TPCL NPs exhibit higher mitochondrial uptake and approximately 2-7-fold higher mitochondria-to-nucleus preference than free drugs, resulting in superior (approximately 7.5-18-fold) tumor-killing activity for most drug-loaded TPCL NPs compared with free drugs. In conclusion, TPCL-based nanoparticles have potential both as antitumor nanodrugs themselves and as nanocarriers for chemical therapeutics.