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Department of Chemical Engineering


Ganciclovir (GCV) is a nucleoside analogue with antiviral activity against herpes viral infections, and the most widely used antiviral to treat cytomegalovirus infections. However, the low bioavailability and short half-life of GCV necessitate the development of a carrier for sustained delivery. In this study, guanosine-based GCV was used as the initiator directly in ring-opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone (ε-CL) to form hydrophobic GCV-poly(caprolactone) (GCV-PCL) which was then grafted with hydrophilic chitosan to form amphiphilic copolymers for the preparation of stable micellar nanoparticles. Successful synthesis of GCV-PCL and GCV-PCL-chitosan were verified by 1H-NMR analysis. Self-assembled micellar nanoparticles were characterized by dynamic light scattering and zetasizer with an average size of 117 nm and a positive charge of 24.2 mV. The drug release kinetics of GCV was investigated and cytotoxicity assay demonstrated that GCV-tagged polymeric micelles were non-toxic. Our results showed that GCV could be used directly in the initiation of ring-opening polymerization of ε-CL and non-toxic polymeric micelles for GCV delivery can be formed.

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© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( Publisher’s version of record:

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


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