Polymeric mixed micelles as nanomedicines: Achievements and perspectives
During the past few decades, polymeric micelles have raised special attention as novel nano-sized drug delivery systems for optimizing the treatment and diagnosis of numerous diseases. These nanocarriers exhibit several in vitro and in vivo advantages as well as increased stability and solubility to hydrophobic drugs. An interesting approach for optimizing these properties and overcoming some of their disadvantages is the combination of two or more polymers in order to assemble polymeric mixed micelles. This review article gives an overview on the current state of the art of several mixed micellar formulations as nanocarriers for drugs and imaging probes, evaluating their ongoing status (preclinical or clinical stage), with special emphasis on type of copolymers, physicochemical properties, in vivo progress achieved so far and toxicity profiles. Besides, the present article presents relevant research outcomes about polymeric mixed micelles as better drug delivery systems, when compared to polymeric pristine micelles. The reported data clearly illustrates the promise of these nanovehicles reaching clinical stages in the near future.