Thermo-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylamide)-block-polyallylamine-conjugated albumin nanospheres (PAN), new thermal targeting anti-cancer drug carrier, was developed by conjugating poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylamide)-block-polyallylamine (PNIPAM-AAm-b-PAA) on the surface of albumin nanospheres (AN). PAN may selectively accumulate onto solid tumors that are maintained above physiological temperature due to local hyperthermia. PNIPAM-AAm-b-PAA was synthesized by radical polymerization, and AN was prepared by ultrasonic emulsification. AN with diameter below 200 nm and narrow size distribution was obtained by optimizing the preparative conditions. Rose Bengal (RB) was used as model drug for entrapment into the AN and PAN during the particle preparation. The release rate of RB from PAN compared with AN in trypsin solution was slower, and decreased with the increase of PNIPAM-AAm-b-PAA molecular weight, which suggested that the existence of a steric hydrophilic barrier on AN made digestion of AN more difficult. Moreover, the release of RB from PAN above the cloud-point temperature (Tcp) of PNIPAM-AAm-b-PAA became faster. This was because the density of temperature-responsive polymers on AN was not so high, so that the interspace between the polymer chains increased after they shrunk due to the high temperature. As a result, the biodegradable AN was attacked more easily by trypsin. The design of PAN overcame the disadvantages of temperature-responsive polymeric micelles.
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