Reduction-responsive PEtOz-SS-PCL micelle with tailored size to overcome blood–brain barrier and enhance doxorubicin antiglioma effect

<p>A series of novel reduction-responsive micelles with tailored size were designed and prepared to release doxorubicin (DOX) for treating glioma, which were developed based on amphiphilic block copolymer poly (2-ethyl-2-oxazoline)-b-poly (ε-caprolactone) (PEtOz-SS-PCL) and the micelle size could be regulated by designing the polymer structure. The DOX-loaded PEtOz-SS-PCL micelles had small size and rapid drug release in reductive intracellular environments. Biodistribution and <i>in vivo</i> imaging studies in C6 glioma mice tumor model showed that DOX loaded PEtOz-SS-PCL43 micelles with the smallest size had superior accumulation and fast drug release in tumor sites. <i>In vivo</i> antitumor activity demonstrated that DOX-loaded PEtOz-SS-PCL43 micelles improved antitumor efficacy in contrast to PEtOz-SS-PCL micelles with larger size toward the orthotopic C6-Luci cells-bearing mice. This study shows great potential in tailoring the micelle size and introducing the responsive bonds or compartment for intracellular drug delivery and release in glioma treatment by designing the architecture of the polymer.</p>