Strategies for improving the payload of small molecular drugs in polymeric micelles

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In the past few years, substantial efforts have been made in the design and preparation of polymeric micelles as novel drug delivery vehicles. Typically, polymeric micelles possess a spherical core–shell structure, with a hydrophobic core and a hydrophilic shell. Consequently, poorly water-soluble drugs can be effectively solubilized within the hydrophobic core, which can significantly boost their drug loading in aqueous media. This leads to new opportunities for some bioactive compounds that have previously been abandoned due to their low aqueous solubility. Even so, the payload of small molecular drugs is still not often satisfactory due to low drug loading and premature release, which makes it difficult to meet the requirements of in vivo studies. This problem has been a major focus in recent years. Following an analysis of the published literature in this field, several strategies towards achieving polymeric micelles with high drug loading and stability are presented in this review, in order to ensure adequate drug levels reach target sites.

Graphical abstract

The strategies for improve the payload of micelles.

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