We describe the development of nanoscale polymer drug carriers for the combinational delivery of an anticancer drug (doxorubicin: DOX) along with super paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs). The drug molecules were electrostatically loaded into both block copolymer self-assembled nanoassemblies (SNAs) and cross-linked nanoassemblies (CNAs). Both nanoassemblies entrapped DOX and IONPs either individually or in tandem, maintaining sub-100 nm diameter. The IONP-loaded nanoassemblies generated heat in the presence of an alternating magnetic field (AMF). Incorporation of the drug payload, DOX, showed no adverse effects on the heating profile. Drug release from the SNAs and CNAs was accelerated as temperature increased from the normal body temperature (37°C) to a mild hyperthermic condition (40 ~ 42°C). CNAs released DOX faster than SNAs regardless of an incubation temperature. CNAs co-entrapped IONPs and DOX were more stable than SNAs in aqueous solutions for five days. These results suggest that block copolymer cross-linked nanoassemblies provide viable delivery platforms for combination delivery of inorganic molecules, anticancer drugs, and potentially other various biologically active substances.

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Published in the Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, v. 3, no. 6, p. 21-28.

© 2013 Daniel Scott et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).

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DS and MD acknowledge the financial support from a NCI-CNTC postdoctoral and pre-doctoral traineeship, respectively, and the project described was supported by Grant Number 5R25CA153954 from the National Cancer Institute. YB acknowledges support from the Kentucky Lung Cancer Research Program and the NSF-REU at the University of Kentucky.