are nanocarriers that water-solubilize hydrophobic drug molecules yet can also be bioactive by themselves. These polymers were designed with a branched, hydrophobic interior (core) and hydrophilic exterior (shell) to maintain physical properties characteristic of conventional micelles, but with enhanced thermodynamic stability.
Two general classes of nanoscale polymeric micelles are under investigation: amphiphilic starlike macromolecules (ASMs) and amphiphilic scorpion-like macromolecules (AScMs). These two systems are chemically similar, but structurally different. ASMs behave as unimolecular micelles, whereas AScMs must first aggregate to form micellar structures.