Solubilization of poorly soluble photosensitizer hypericin by polymeric micelles and polyethylene glycol

Diana Búzová, Peter Kasák, Pavol Miškovský, Daniel Jancura
2013 General Physiology and Biophysics  
Hypericin (Hyp) is a promising photosensitizer for photodiagnosis and photodynamic therapy of cancer. However, Hyp has a large conjugated system and in aqueous solutions forms insoluble aggregates which do not possess biological activity. This makes intravenous injection of Hyp problematic and restricts its medical applications. To overcome this problem, Hyp is incorporated into drug delivery systems which can increase its solubility and bioavailability. One of the possibilities is utilization
more » ... f polymeric micelles. The most used hydrophilic block for preparation of polymeric micelles is polyethylen glycol (PEG). PEG is a polymer which for its lack of immunogenicity, antigenicity and toxicity obtained approval for use in human medicine. In this work we have studied the solubilization of Hyp aggregates in the presence of PEG-PE and PEG-cholesterol micelles. The concentration of polymeric micelles which allows total monomerization of Hyp corresponds to the critical micellar concentration of these micelles (~10 -6 M). We have also investigated the effect of the molecular weight and concentration of PEG on the transition of aggregated Hyp to its monomeric form. PEGs with low molecular weight (<1000 g/mol) do not significantly contribute to the solubilization of Hyp. However, PEGs with molecular weight >2000 g/mol efficiently transform Hyp aggregates to the monomeric state of this photosensitizer.
doi:10.4149/gpb_2013023 pmid:23479449 fatcat:4pqsy267p5a23oxrxge2vng2tm