Acetylcholinesterase Responsive Polymeric Supra-Amphiphiles for Controlled Self-Assembly and Disassembly

We have fabricated enzyme responsive polymeric supra-amphiphiles by mixing a block copolymer of poly­(ethylene glycol)-<i>block</i>-poly­(acrylic acid) with myristoylcholine chloride in water. The polymeric supra-amphiphiles self-assemble into spherical aggregates with sizes varying from about 40 to 150 nm. Moreover, the spherical aggregates can be disassembled triggered by acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme which can cut off the ester linkage of myristoylcholine chloride. Nile red can be loaded into the spherical aggregates and released in several hours upon the treatment of acetylcholinesterase. The releasing rate is rather fast considering that it takes more than 150 h for Nile red to diffuse out of the spherical aggregates without addition of acetylcholinesterase. It is anticipated that the new enzyme responsive polymeric supra-amphiphile may be explored as a carrier for drug delivery.