Preparation and characterization of electrostatically crosslinked polymer–liposomes in anticancer therapy

Yi Ting Chiang, Sih Ying Lyu, Yu Han Wen, Chun Liang Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Ph-sensitive polymer–liposomes can rapidly release their payloads. However, it is difficult to simultaneously achieve stability and pH-responsiveness in the polymer–liposomes. In this study, stable and pH-sensitive crosslinked polymer–liposomes were fabricated through electrostatic interactions. The pH-sensitive copolymer methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(methacrylic acid)-cholesterol (mPEG-b-P(MAAc)-chol) and crosslinking reagent poly(ethylene glycol) with end-capped with lysine (PEG-Lys2) were synthesized and characterized. At physiological conditions, the pH-sensitive copolymers were anionic and interacted electrostatically with the cationic crosslinker PEG-Lys2, forming the electrostatically-crosslinked polymer–liposomes and stabilizing the liposomal structure. At pH 5.0, the carboxylic groups in mPEG-b-P(MAAc)-chol were neutralized, and the liposomal structure was destroyed. The particle size of the crosslinked polymer–liposomes was approximately 140 nm and the polymer–liposomes were loaded with the anticancer drug doxorubicin. At pH 7.4, the crosslinked polymer–liposomes exhibited good stability with steady particle size and low drug leakage, even in the presence of fetal bovine serum. At pH 5.0, the architecture of the crosslinked polymer–liposomes was damaged following rapid drug release, as observed by using transmission electronmicroscopy and their apparent size variation. The crosslinked polymer–liposomes were pH-sensitive within the endosome and in the human breast cancer cells MDA-MB-231, as determined by using confocal laser scanning microscopy. The intracellular drug release profiles indicated cytotoxicity in cancer cells. These results indicated that the highly-stable and pH-sensitive electrostatically-crosslinked polymer–liposomes offered a potent drug-delivery systemfor use in anticancer therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1615
JournalInternational Journal Of Molecular Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Anticancer therapy
  • Liposome
  • PH-sensitivity
  • Polymer


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