Drug Partitioning

Drug loading into block copolymer micelles is achieved by the partitioning of the lipophilic agents into the micelle core. The partition coefficient (Kv) refers to the extent to which a drug selectively partitions into a micelle and can be expressed as follows:

[Drug] aqueous where [Drug]micelle and [Drug]aqueous represent the molar concentrations of the drug in the micelle phase and aqueous phase, respectively.23'42 Many different experimental methods including surface tension,23 UV-vis spectroscopy,43'44 fluorescence,33'42'45'46 solubility in model solvents,47'48 and theoretical methods49,50 have been used to study the partitioning behavior of molecules in block copolymer micelle solutions. The length of the hydrophobic block influences both the CMC and the partition coefficient. An increase in either the length or the hydrophobicity of the core-block has been shown to improve the partitioning behavior of hydrophobic agents into the micelle core.51,52 Hydrophobic molecules such as pyrene preferentially reside in the hydrophobic micelle core.50 However, the micelle core is not the only site for drug solubilization. Various amphiphilic solubi-lizates can reside at the core-corona interface or in the corona itself.45,47,53

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