Asymmetric AB3 Miktoarm Star Polymers: Synthesis, Self-Assembly, and Study of Micelle Stability Using AF4 for Efficient Drug Delivery

Alexandre Moquin, Anjali Sharma, Yiming Cui, Anthony Lau, Dusica Maysinger, Ashok Kakkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A simple and versatile methodology, which employs a combination of ring-opening polymerization and alkyne-azide click chemistry to synthesize amphiphilic AB3 miktoarm stars, is reported. Their aqueous self-assembly behavior was studied using dynamic light scattering, fluorescence, and asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation (AF4). AB3 miktoarm stars form micelles which incorporate curcumin with high efficiency, and significantly reduce the viability of glioblastoma cells in spheroids. We demonstrate that AF4 is an effective technique to determine the size distribution of self-assembled structures exposed to a biological medium. The ease, with which asymmetric AB3 miktoarm polymers are constructed, provides a platform that can be widely employed to deliver a variety of lipophilic drugs. AB3 (PCL-PEG3) miktoarm polymers form micelles and incorporate large amount of hydrophobic drug (curcumin). Size distribution of the micelles is narrow as determined by AF4 fractionation. Curcumin-loaded AB3 micelles exert significant cell loss in glioblastoma (GBM) spheroids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1744-1754
Number of pages11
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • amphiphilic miktoarm star polymer
  • drug delivery systems
  • field-flow fractionation
  • glioblastoma spheroids
  • micelles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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