c-myb antisense oligonucleotides (AS ODNs) were reversibly immobilized to a novel polymeric core shell nanosphere and their cellular uptake and inhibitory effect on HL60 leukemia cell proliferation studied. The nanosphere surface was so designed as to directly bind ODNs via ionic interactions and reversibly release them inside the cells. Compared with the cellular uptake of free oligonucleotide, the use of AS ODN (immobilized to the nanospheres) produced a 50-fold increase in the intracellular concentration. Specifically, a single dose of 320 nM of AS ODN immobilized to the nanospheres was capable of inhibiting HL60 cell proliferation with the same degree of efficiency obtained using a 50-fold higher dose of free AS ODN. Flow cytometric experiments with fluoresceinated ODNs showed a temperature-dependent uptake, which was detectable as early as 2 h after the beginning of treatment. The inhibitory effect on cell proliferation was maintained for up to 8 days of culture. Moreover, the level of c-Myb protein decreased by 24% after 2 days and by 60% after 4 days of treatment, thus indicating a continuous and sustained release of non-degraded AS ODN from the nanospheres inside the cells.