Amphiphilic polysialic acid derivatives: Synthesis, characterization, and in-vitro cytotoxicity

V. G. Deepagan, Thavasyappan Thambi, Hyewon Ko, Young Mo Kang, Jae Hyung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Polysialic acid (PSA), a natural hydrophilic polysaccharide, is a potential alternative to poly(ethylene glycol) as the hydrophilic constituent of the polymeric amphiphiles for biomedical applications. In this study, amphiphilic block copolymers were prepared based on PSA as the hydrophilic block and polycaprolactone (PCL) as the hydrophobic block. The block copolymers formed micelles with spherical shapes in an aqueous environment. The average sizes of the nanoparticles were in the range of 270-390 nm, depending on the block length of PCL. The zeta potential values of the micelles were ∼-20 mV due to the negatively charged carboxylic acids of PSA. The nanoparticles showed good stability for five days in a physiological solution (pH 7.4), and had low critical micelle concentration values (1.68-8.54 μg/ml). The in-vitro cytotoxicity tests confirmed that the PSA-PCL micelles had little cytotoxicity. All these results suggest that the PSA-PCL block copolymers can form nano-sized micelles with high stability and low toxicity, implying their high potential for biomedical application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7312-7318
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Block copolymer
  • Polycaprolactone
  • Polymeric micelle
  • Polysialic acid

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