Purpose The purpose of this work was to investigate the potential of poly(ε-caprolactone)-block-poly(ethyl ethylene phosphate) (PCL-PEEP) micelles for brain-targeting drug delivery. Method The coumarin-6-loaded PCL-PEEP micelles (CMs) were prepared and characterized. The cellular uptake of CMs was evaluated on in vitro model of brain-blood barrier (BBB), and the brain biodistribution of CMs in ICR mice was investigated. Results PCL-PEEP could self-assemble into 20 nm micelles in water with the critical micelle concentration (CMC) 0.51 μg/ml and high coumarin-6 encapsulation efficiency (92.5±0.7%), and the micelles were stable in 10% FBS with less than 25% leakage of incorporated coumarin-6 during 24 h incubation at 37°C. The cellular uptake of CMs by BBB model was significantly higher and more efficient than coumarin-6 solution (CS) at 50 ng/ml. Compared with CS, 2.6-fold of coumarin-6 was found in the brains of CM-treated mice, and Cmax of CMs was 4.74% of injected dose/g brain. The qualitative investigation on the brain distribution of CMs indicated that CMs were prone to accumulate in hippocampus and striatum. Conclusion These results suggest that PCL-PEEP micelles could be a promising brain-targeting drug delivery system with low toxicity.
- Blood-brain barrier (BBB)