Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Cleavable thermosensitive polymeric micelle drug delivery system for controlled drug release

Technology #6228

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Duxin Sun
Managed By
Tiefei Dong
Senior Licensing Specialist, Life Sciences 734-763-5332
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

Targeted drug delivery systems with controlled drug release are of immense interest for effective treatment of cancer. Drug delivery systems with increased specificity and controlled release minimize adverse side effects that occur with traditional drug delivery and decrease the amount of drug required to treat a tumor or diseased tissue. However, traditional drug delivery systems are not able to effectively deliver therapeutics to intended tissues. Stimuli-responsive polymers have been developed for use in drug delivery systems which can be triggered by changes in pH or temperature, but the release of the drug from the polymer micelle has not been well-controlled to this point.

Thermoresponsive polymer with cleavable backbone for controlled drug delivery

The development of a thermo-responsive polymer micelle with a backbone that can be cleaved has resulted in the creation of a controlled-release drug delivery system. The system incorporates iron oxide nanoparticles that convert infrared light into heat to cleave the polymer structure and release the contained nanoparticles and drug. Unlike other thermoresponsive polymeric drug delivery systems, the nanoparticles are expelled from the cleaved polymer micelle so that the nanoparticles are single-dispersed, leading to enhanced tumor penetration. The system can be used to target specific tissues and the control the drug release.


  • Controlled drug release
  • Enhanced tumor penetration
  • Production of single-dispersed iron oxide nanoparticles at industrial level


  • Simple method for dispersed nanoparticle production
  • Enhanced nanoparticle release
  • Target specificity and controlled release