Clinical application of curcumin has been limited due to poor aqueous solubility and consequently minimal systemic bioavailability. We investigated the preparation of curcumin-loaded micelles based on amphiphilic Pluronic/Polycaprolactone (Pluronic/PCL) block copolymer, which proved to be efficient in enhancing curcumin's aqueous solubility. Curcumin-loaded micelles of size below 200 nm was characterized by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy. The critical micelle concentration (CMC) of the amphiphilic polymer was determined using pyrene as a fluorescent probe. Hemolysis and aggregation studies were investigated to evaluate the blood compatibility of the micelles. Sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was performed to study the stability of the micelles toward plasma proteins. In vitro cytotoxicity and cellular uptake of the curcumin-loaded micelles were demonstrated in colorectal adenocarcinoma (Caco2) cells. The results indicated that Pluronic/PCL micelles could be a promising candidate for curcumin delivery to cancer cells.
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