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Polymeric micelles in nanomedicine are often crosslinked to prevent disintegration in vivo. This typically requires clinically problematic chemicals or laborious procedures. In addition, crosslinking may interfere with advanced release strategies. Despite this, it is often not investigated whether crosslinking is necessary for efficient drug delivery. We used PET imaging with 64Cu to demonstrate general methodology for real-time in vivo investigations of micelle stability. Triblock copolymers with 4-methylcoumarin cores of ABC-type (PEG-PHEMA-PCMA) were functionalized in the handle region (PHEMA) with CB-TE2A chelators. Polymeric micelles were formed by dialysis and one half was core-crosslinked by UV light (CL) and the other half was not (nonCL). Both CL and nonCL were radiolabeled with 64 Cu and compared in vivo in tumor-bearing mice, with free 64Cu as control. Accumulation in relevant organs was quantified by ROI analysis on PET images and ex vivo counting. It was observed that CL and nonCL showed limited differences in biodistribution from each other, whereas both differed markedly from control (free 64Cu). This demonstrated that 4-methylcoumarin core micelles may form micelles that are stable in circulation even without crosslinking. The methodology presented here where individual unimers are radiolabeled is applicable to a wide range of polymeric micelle types.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)366-374
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2017
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • CB-TE2A, Copper-64, PET, Polymeric micelles, Crosslinking, Nanomedicine

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