Poly(2-oxazoline)s: from functional coatings to drug-conjugates

Poly(2-oxazoline)s (commonly abbreviated as PAOx, POZ, POx or POXA) represent an extraordinary polymer platform with highly tunable properties and excellent biocompatibility. PAOx are thus ideally suited to develop functional coatings of use in biomedical applications, including biosensors, medical devices, cell culture, etc.

Surface or nanoparticle functionalization with poly(2-oxazoline)s provides a number of advantages. You might want to confer your substrate with the polymer properties (antifouling, controlled hydrophilicity…), especially as PAOx/POZ exhibit a very high stability towards degradation (long-term implants).

ULTROXA® side-chain functional polymers also allow you to go one step forward: use the polymer as a platform to introduce APIs and turn your implant or medical device into an efficient drug delivery vehicle.

At ULTROXA®, we have developed a whole range of end-chain functionalized poly(2-oxazoline)s that allow surface or nanoparticle coating providing the following benefits:

  • Ideal platform for implants, biosensors, imaging, drug delivery (biological barrier permeation).
  • Apt for functionalization of a wide variety of nanoparticles: Au, Fe2O3, SiO2…
  • Provide your surface with poly(2-oxazoline)s properties: antifouling, stealth behavior, long-term stability in-vivo.
  • Control your surface or nanoparticle hydrophilicity: from more hydrophilic than PEG via thermoresponsive to hydrophobic.
  • Possibility to introduce antimicrobial activity on the surface.
  • Use ULTROXA® side-chain functional polymers and add a drug delivery feature to your implant.

In addition, ULTROXA® proprietary side-chain functional polymers enable the design of polymer-drug conjugates for controlled and targeted delivery. The use of ULTROXA® polymers as carriers for the delivery of potent drugs not only improves drug solubility and circulation time, but can also dramatically reduce their drawbacks and limitations by enabling targeted release, or the fine tuning of the release when used as drug delivery depots.

To showcase the use of PAOx as a carrier of potent drugs, the cytostatic drug doxorubicin was bound to side-chain functional poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline) via acid-degradable hydrazone linkers. Poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline)-Doxorubicin conjugates with up to 6 wt.% doxorubicin were prepared and about three times the maximum tolerated dose could be administered in mice without signs of non-specific toxicity.


Victor R. de la Rosa(1)
Suzan Aksakal (1)
Ondrej Sedlacek(2)
Richard Hoogenboom(2)
An Van Den Bulcke(1)


Avroxa bvba, Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 82, Ghent (1)
University of Ghent, Krijgslaan 281 (S4) Ghent (2)

Presenting author

An Van Den Bulcke, CEO, AVROXA bvba
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