Therapeutic stomatocytes with aggregation induced emission for intracellular delivery

Jingxin Shao, Shoupeng Cao, Hanglong Wu, Loai K. E. A. Abdelmohsen and Jan C. M. van Hest

Published: November 2021


Bowl-shaped biodegradable polymersomes, or stomatocytes, have much potential as drug delivery systems, due to their intriguing properties, such as controllable size, programmable morphology, and versatile cargo encapsulation capability. In this contribution, we developed well-defined therapeutically active stomatocytes with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) features by self-assembly of biodegradable amphiphilic block copolymers, comprising poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and AIEgenic poly(trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC) moieties. The presence of the AIEgens endowed the as-prepared stomatocytes with intrinsic fluorescence, which was employed for imaging of cellular uptake of the particles. It simultaneously enabled the photo-mediated generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) for photodynamic therapy. The potential of the therapeutic stomatocytes as cargo carriers was demonstrated by loading enzymes (catalase and glucose oxidase) in the nanocavity, followed by a cross-linking reaction to achieve stable encapsulation. This provided the particles with a robust motile function, which further strengthened their therapeutic effect. With these unique features, enzyme-loaded AIEgenic stomatocytes are an attractive platform to be exploited in the field of nanomedicine.

Full Access Link: Pharmaceutics