Nanomicelles: A Perfect Drug Delivery Carrier For Cancer Treatment

In News

researchers across the globe have been exploring nanotechnology for developing an efficient drug delivery mechanism and the new invention in the field is “Nanomicelle”.


  • Nanomiscelles are small structures similar to nanoshells and nanovesicles. They are an emerging platform in targeted therapy.
  • Nanomiscelles are globe-like structures.
  • The outer shell is hydrophilic and the interior is hydrophobic. This dual property makes nanomicelles the perfect carrier for drug delivery.

For Cancer Treatment

  • Now, nanomicelles are being used for cancer treatment.
  • A team of researchers has been using nanomicelles to deliver the drug docetaxel, a commonly used drug to treat cancers such as breast, colon and lung cancer.
  • The goal of cancer therapy is to destroy cancer cells without damaging healthy cells.
  • Chemotherapeutics for cancer treatment are highly toxic.
  • Docetaxel being a hydrophobic drug is dissolved in a chemical mixture (polysorbate-80 and alcohol) which aggravates its toxicity. It affects the liver, lungs, and blood cells.
  • Here lies the importance of nanomicelles as efficient drug carriers.

The Mechanism

  • Nanomicelles are around 100nm in size.
  • They are stable at room temperature.
  • When injected intravenously, nanomiscelles escape the circulation and reach the solid tumors where the blood vessels are leaky. In healthy organs, the leaky blood vessels are absent.
  • Due to chemical conjugation, the phospholipid docetaxel prodrug remains silent in the circulation.
  • But in the cancer cells, the enzymes will cleave the bond, the drug gets activated and the cancer cells are killed.
  • The effectiveness of the nanomicelles has been tested on mice with breast tumor model.
  • Tumor regression is found in the model and toxicity is very less compared to the currently used FDA-approved drug formulation.
  • Further promising results were found in higher organisms like rats, rabbits and rhesus monkeys.

Mode of Action

  • Nanomiscelles work by enhancing the expression of tumor suppressor genes.
  • The team is now working on developing a nanomicelle that can carry multiple drugs for increasing the treatment effectiveness of individual drugs.
  • According to the team, nanomicelles are extremely cost-effective and will become the next generation chemotherapeutic.


The team working on nanomicelles is Indian which earlier has developed a hydrogel drug delivery system to carry a three-drug combination for cancer treatment. Compared to the hydrogel mechanism, the team bets big on nanomicelles.

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