Potential-Independent Intracellular Drug Delivery and Mitochondrial Targeting. Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, two types of the fluoroamphiphile analogs were synthesized and self-assembled into the "core-shell" micellar nanocarriers for intracellular delivery and organelle targeting. Using the fluorescent dyes or vitamin E succinate as the cargo, the drug delivery and targeting capabilities of the fluoroamphiphiles and their micelles were evaluated in the cell lines, tumor cell spheroids, and tumor-bearing mice. The "core-fluorinated" micelles exhibited favorable physicochemical properties and improved the cellular uptake of the cargo by around 20 times compared to their "shell-fluorinated" counterparts. The results also indicated that the core-fluorinated micelles underwent an efficient clathrin-mediated endocytosis and a rapid endosomal escape thereafter. Interestingly, the internalized fluoroamphiphile micelles preferentially accumulated in mitochondria, by which the efficacy of the loaded vitamin E succinate was boosted both in vitro and in vivo. Unlike the popularly used cationic mitochondrial targeting ligands, as a charge-neutral nanocarrier, the fluoroamphiphiles' mitochondrial targeting was potential independent. The mechanism study suggested that the strong binding affinity with the phospholipids, particularly the cardiolipin, played an important role in the fluoroamphiphiles' mitochondrial targeting. These charge-neutral fluoroamphiphiles might have great potential to be a simple and reliable tool for intracellular drug delivery and mitochondrial targeting.

published proceedings

  • ACS Nano

author list (cited authors)

  • Liu, Y., Zhang, J., Tu, Y., & Zhu, L.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Liu, Yin||Zhang, Jian||Tu, Ying||Zhu, Lin

publication date

  • January 2022