Tumor targeting using nanoparticle-based drug and gene delivery

Polyethylene glycol (PEG), also known as polyethylene oxide (PEO) or poly(oxyethylene) (POE), is a synthetic polyether recognized for its hydrophilic and biocompatible nature. Typically, substances with a molecular weight below 20,000 g/mol are classified as PEGs, while those with a molecular weight exceeding 20,000 g/mol are identified as PEOs.

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These polymers are not only soluble in water but also dissolve in various organic solvents, including ethanol, acetonitrile, toluene, acetone, dichloromethane, hexane, and chloroform.

Tumor targeting using nanoparticle-based drug and gene delivery

Image Credit: Merck 

Applications of PEGs

PEGs are non-toxic and find widespread use in bioconjugation, surface functionalization, biomedical research, drug delivery, tissue engineering, and the food and cosmetics sectors. The process of attaching PEG polymer chains to molecules, whether through conjugation or non-covalent means, is termed PEGylation.  

Employing the PEGylation technique can enhance the water compatibility, solubility, stability, and pharmacokinetic properties of therapeutics, thereby elevating their safety and efficacy in targeted diagnostics and drug delivery.  

PEG hydrogels are typically employed for the controlled release of therapeutics as cell culture scaffolds in regenerative medicine, wound healing, and tissue engineering.  

PEG derivatives and PEG linkers

Merck Millipore Sigma provides a diverse range of well-defined PEGs featuring varying molecular weights, end functionalities, reactivities, and polymer architectures:

  • Heterobifunctional PEGs
  • Homobifunctional PEGs
  • Monofunctional PEGs
  • PEG Dendrimers and Multi-Arm PEGS
  • PEG Copolymers
  • PEG Standards for GPC
  • PEG and Oligo Ethylene Glycol
  • Polyethylene oxide Powders
  • High Oligomer Purity PEGs

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Last updated: Feb 1, 2024 at 10:34 AM

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