Fine-tuning thermoresponsive functional poly(ε-caprolactone)s to enhance micelle stability and drug loading

Elizabeth A. Rainbolt, Jason B. Miller, Katherine E. Washington, Suchithra A. Senevirathne, Michael C. Biewer, Daniel J. Siegwart, Mihaela C. Stefan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Block copolymers synthesized by the ring-opening polymerization of γ-2-[2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethoxy]ethoxy-ε-caprolactone (ME3CL), γ-2-methoxyethoxy-ε-caprolactone (ME1CL), and ε-caprolactone (CL) are reported. Previously, diblock copolymers of PME3CL-b-PME1CL displayed excellent thermoresponsive tunability (31-43 °C) and self-assembled into micelles with moderate thermodynamic stability. In this report, two strategies are employed to enhance thermodynamic stability of PME3CL/PME1CL-type block copolymer micelles while maintaining their attractive thermoresponsive qualities: modification of the end group position and alteration of hydrophobic block composition by using both ME1CL and CL. These new thermoresponsive amphiphilic block copolymers showed lower critical micelle concentration (CMC) values by one order of magnitude and formed thermodynamically stable micelles. Furthermore they demonstrated good biocompatibility and up to 4.97 wt% doxorubicin loading, more than double the amount loaded into the PME3CL-type polymeric micelles previously reported. This journal is

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1779-1787
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 7 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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