pH-responsive polymeric micelles with tunable aggregation-induced emission and controllable drug release

  • Yu Dai
  • Dengjin Wu
  • Shijun Lin
  • Xin Ma
  • Xiaojin ZhangEmail author
  • Fan XiaEmail author
Research Paper


Stimuli-responsive polymeric micelles as a drug delivery vehicle have made important contributions to the development of controllable drug release. Here we develop pH-responsive polymeric micelles with tunable aggregation-induced emission and controllable drug release. Polymeric micelles in nano-sized spherical shape (about 140 nm) were mediated via hydrogen-bonding interaction between phenol groups of 4,4′-(1,2-diphenylethene-1,2-diyl)diphenol (TPE-2OH) and amine groups of poly(ethylene glycol)-block-linear polyethylenimine-block-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEG-PEI-PCL). The results show that polymeric micelles are pH-responsive with turn-on fluorescence and sustained drug release inside cells, which has hope in simultaneously achieving cell imaging and cancer therapy.


pH-responsive polymeric micelles Hydrogen-bonding interaction Aggregation-induced emission Drug release Self-assembly Biomaterials Nanomedicine 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21603196, 51703209, and 21525523), the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province (2017CFB217), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) (Nos. CUG170601 and CUGL170406).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Supplementary material

11051_2018_4447_MOESM1_ESM.docx (364 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 363 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Engineering Research Center of Nano-Geomaterials of Ministry of Education, Faculty of Materials Science and ChemistryChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina

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