Journal of Controlled Release

Role of non-covalent and covalent interactions in cargo loading capacity and stability of polymeric micelles

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Polymeric micelles self-assembled from biodegradable amphiphilic block copolymers have been proven to be effective drug delivery carriers that reduce the toxicity and enhance the therapeutic efficacy of free drugs. Several reviews have been reported in the literature to discuss the importance of size/size distribution, stability and drug loading capacity of polymeric micelles for successful in vivo drug delivery. This review is focused on non-covalent and covalent interactions that are employed to enhance cargo loading capacity and in vivo stability, and to achieve nanosize with narrow size distribution. In particular, this review analyzes various non-covalent and covalent interactions and chemistry applied to introduce these interactions to the micellar drug delivery systems, as well as the effects of these interactions on micelle stability, drug loading capacity and release kinetics. Moreover, the factors that influence these interactions and the future research directions of polymeric micelles are discussed.