Patent Pick: Delivery Plan Falls Apart, As Planned


Falling apart literally is what this invention from Tel Aviv University is intended to do. Here, the inventors describe a micelle system that is activated by enzymes to deliver flavor, cosmetic, textile and other ingredients.

Enzyme-responsive amphiphilic PEG-dendron hybrids
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/038595
Publication date: March 17, 2016
Assignee: Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

According to these inventors, micelles that respond to enzymes to disassemble and release encapsulated cargo have gained increasing attention. Especially considering they can be used as nanocarriers in health, drug delivery, food, cosmetic, agrochemical and textile applications.

While current approaches for such responsive polymers are based on changes in pH, temperature, irradiated light, redox potential or their combination, the approached described herein is enzyme-based. Enzymes reportedly can trigger the micelle disassembly process. They also are highly substrate-specific and propagate an amplified response via catalytic reactions.

The present invention thus relates to an enzymatic stimuli-responsive amphiphilic hybrid delivery system in micellar form. This system is based on a hydrophilic polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymer conjugated to a hydrophobic dendron. The dendron comprises at least one enzymatically cleavable hydrophobic end group that is covalently attached to it. The micelle disassembles upon enzymatic cleavage of the hydrophobic end group, releasing its content for various effects.

Patent application accessed March 28, 2016.

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