Cucurbituril-based supramolecular constructs for the diverse applications of nanomedicine
Embargo Lift Date: 2021-03-08
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The supramolecular chemistry of cucurbiturils (CBs) has been rapidly advancing to span wide range of nanomedicine applications including but not limited to pharmaceutical drug formulation and delivery, bio/medical imaging and sensing, cancer therapy, tissue engineering, development of antibacterial/antiviral agents and protein modification. Owing to unique recognition properties and low cytotoxicity, the supramolecular assemblies of CBs are particular promises for biomedicine tasks. Inspired by these developments, three multifunctional supramolecular constructs of CBs containing photoactive conjugated compounds were prepared to be utilized in nanomedicine applications covering antimicrobial and anticancer photodynamic therapy (PDT), combined PDT and photothermal therapy (PTT) for the inactivation of bacteria, drug delivery and cellular imaging. A stable rotaxane, namely -rotaxane, based on photoactive alkynesubstituted porphyrin and azide-substituted stopper group was synthesized through 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reaction. Herein, cucurbituril (CB6) acts as both macrocycle and catalysis for the reaction and encapsulates formed triazole ring inside its cavity. -rotaxane was further investigated and results revealed that it has ability to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) including singlet oxygens in high yield even under quite low fluence of light and short exposure time and this, in turn, renders it ideal photosensitizer which remains stable at physiological pH (7.4) for prolonged times. By taking the advantages of aforementioned properties, -rotaxane was employed as a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria as well as anticancer agent against human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) via visible-light-induced generation of ROS. -rotaxane possess negligible dark cytotoxicity upon complexation with CB6 and it can afford efficacious PDT of cancer and infectious diseases caused by bacteria. Another multifunctional photoactive supramolecular assembly was built through covalently binding of four cucurbituril (CB7) molecules, functioning as receptor, to a tetraphenyl porphyrin core using suitable linkers. In addition to its light-promoted antibacterial property, here, main objective was to combine chemo- and photodynamic cancer therapy which makes this study novel. Presence of CB7, enables host-guest interactions with anticancer drug, doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX), and therefore this system was used to carry drug molecules achieving synergistic PDT and chemotherapy. Finally, CB7-capped hybrid nanoparticles (NPs) made up of red-emitting conjugated oligomer (COL) and gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) were obtained through one-pot synthetic method. These hybrid NPs were found to own high photostability, thermal reversibility and high ROS generation capacity. Benefitting from these properties, combined photodynamic and photothermal killing efficiency of NPs towards Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria was verified. Additionally, cellular imaging capability of them was shown owing to their inherently fluorescent characteristics and this feature could be utilized for image-guided PDT applications.
Photoactive conjugated compounds