Workshops & seminars

"Post-Alkylation of a Common mPEG-b-PAGE Precursor to Produce Tunable Morphologies of Spheres, Filomicelles, Disks and Polymersomes for Applications in Drug Delivery"
Dr. Frantz Le Dévédec (Toronto)

Friday, December 2, 2016
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Dr. Frantz Le Dévédec


This event is free



Rafik Naccache


Richard J. Renaud Science Complex
7141 Sherbrooke W.
Room SP-S110



The facile preparation of biocompatible materials that self-assemble into nanostructures of well-defined morphology is of keen interest to the biomedical community. Herein, we report the anionic polymerization of allyl glycidyl ether (AGE) on methoxy-PEG (mPEG) as macroinitiator to produce the diblock copolymer mPEG-b-PAGE. The mPEG-b-PAGE copolymer was then used as a common precursor to generate a systematic series of copolymers derivatized with pendant alkyl chains via thiolene click chemistry. These amphiphilic block copolymers were found to self-assemble in aqueous solution to form aggregates with distinct and unique morphologies. Depending on the hydrophobic weight fraction of the copolymer, spheres, long filomicelles, rods, disks and polymersomes with confirmed biocompatibility were formed. These materials were evaluated in terms of ability to solubilize the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin (DOX). For each copolymer, stable micelle formulations were prepared that included high DOX to copolymer ratios of up to 20 % (wt%) with drug loading efficiencies > 60 % (w/w). In vitro drug release studies, conducted under physiologically relevant conditions, revealed sustained release profiles. Assessment of cytotoxicity in OVCAR8 human ovarian cancer cells grown in monolayers and spheroids confirmed that the activity of the formulated drug was conserved. The promising preliminary assessment of these alkylated copolymers encourages additional evaluation in vivo.

Dr. Le Dévédec carried out his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at UQAM. Under the supervision of Prof. M.A Mateescu, he completed his MSc in biochemistry in 2008 (with Honors). His work focused on the development of chromatographic devices for the separation of chitosan oligomers and the synthesis of polyalkylated chitosan for oral delivery.

In 2008, he carried out his PhD, under the supervision of Prof. Julian Zhu at the University of Montreal, where he developed his skills in polymer chemistry and novel polymer drug delivery systems.

After a brief time in the pharmaceutical industry, he moved to Ontario where he is currently carrying out his postdoctoral research in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto, with Christine Allen. His research interests focus on the development and characterization of copolymers for sustained release of hydrophobic drugs from nano-scale delivery system to implantable devices, as well as the study of drug-polymer compatibility and the tunable morphology of drug carrier.

He is the guest of Dr. John Oh

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