Cholesteryl to improve the cellular uptake of Polymersomes within HeLa cells

Chloe Martin, Nino Marino, Ciara Curran, AP McHale, John F. Callan, Bridgeen Callan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)


The need to develop a greater understanding of drug delivery systems has arisen through the development of alternative biological based therapeutics. Drug delivery systems need to adapt and respond to this increasing demand for cellular transportation of highly charged species. Polymersomal drug delivery systems have displayed great potential and versatility for such a task. In this manuscript we present the synthesis, characterisation and biological evaluation of six amphiphilic random co polymers with varying amounts of cholesteryl (0-39 %wt) before the subsequent formation into polymersomes. The polymersomes were then analysed for size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency, release kinetics and cellular uptake. Results confirmed that the polymersome containing 12 %wt cholesteryl polymer displayed a ten-fold increase in cellular uptake of Fitc-CM-dextran when compared to un-encapsulated drug, crossing the cellular membrane via endocytosis. The size of these vehicles ranged between 100 – 500 nm, zeta potential was shown to be neutral at -0.82 mV ±0.2 with encapsulation efficiencies in the region of 60 %. The ease of adaptability and preparation of such systems renders them a viable alternative to liposomal drug delivery systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-578
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 10 Sept 2016


  • Drug Delivery System (DDS)
  • Amphiphilic Polymer
  • Polymersome
  • Cholesteryl
  • poly(ethylene) glycol.


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