Triple stimulus-responsive polypeptide nanoparticles that enhance intratumoral spatial distribution

Daniel J. Callahan, Wenge Liu, Xinghai Li, Matthew R. Dreher, Wafa Hassouneh, Minkyu Kim, Piotr Marszalek, Ashutosh Chilkoti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


To address the limited tumor penetration of nanoparticle drug delivery vehicles, we report the first pH-responsive polypeptide micelle that dissociates at the low extracellular pH of solid tumors. This histidine-rich elastin-like polypeptide block copolymer self-assembles at 37 °C into spherical micelles that are stabilized by Zn and are disrupted as the pH drops from 7.4 to 6.4. These pH-sensitive micelles demonstrate better in vivo penetration and distribution in tumors than a pH-insensitive control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2165-2170
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 11 2012


  • Polypeptides
  • block copolymers
  • pH responsive
  • stimulus-responsive
  • tumor drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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