Synthesis and characterization of cucurbituril based photoactive multifunctional assemblies

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Tuncel, Dönüş
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Bilkent University
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Preparation of cucurbituril based functional materials and their use in various applications ranging from biomedicine to optoelectronics have been studied intensely over the last decade. Supramolecular assemblies, networks and nanostructures constructed through noncovalent interactions of cucurbiturils with -conjugated, photoactive compounds have also been investigated and potential applications in the areas of theranostics, imaging, sensing and catalysis have been shown. In these cucurbituril based architectures, however, cucurbituril is disabled to act as a molecular receptor since they do not involve the covalent conjugation of cucurbituril directly to chromophore. The main motivation of this study is to synthesize multifunctional assemblies and nanostructures in which cucurbituril is covalently attached to various conjugated compounds including porphyrin, conjugated oligomers and polymers. A new multifunctional porphyrin-cucurbituril conjugate based on a photoactive mannosylated porphyrin and monoporpargyloxycucurbit[7]uril was synthesized. Azido-functionalized tetraphenylporphyrin (TPP) was used as a building block. TPP was first mannosylated by copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC), then a monoporpargyloxycucurbit[7]uril was covalently attached to the mannosylated TPP with a second CuAAC reaction. Singlet oxygen generation efficiency of the supramolecular assembly was measured and found to be significantly higher than that of unfunctionalized TPP. ¹H NMR experiments were performed using a suitable guest, bisimidazolium, to prove the availability of CB7 in the assembly as a host. Bisimidazolium guest was observed to form inclusion complex with CB7, which is a promising result for the potential use of this supramolecular assembly as a drug carrier in conjunction with photodynamic therapy. Conjugated oligomers and polymers were synthesized from suitably- functionalized monomers via Pd-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions and their characterizations were performed. Their assemblies and nanostructures with covalently attached functionalized cucurbiturils were investigated. Redox sensitive crosslinked conjugated oligomer nanoparticles (CONs) were synthesized from a conjugated oligomer, OFVBt-N3 and a disulfide bond- containing crosslinker via ultrasound-assisted copper-free click reaction in THF. These spherical and approximately 50 nm-sized CONs preserved their stability and size («60 nm) after dispersing them in water. The behavior of the CONs in the presence of glutathione (GSH) was studied in aqueous medium. It was observed that the CONs are rapidly disrupted by GSH, which is an effective SS bond cleaving biomolecule that is overexpressed in cancer cells. These results imply that when nanoparticles are loaded with an anticancer drug, targeted delivery of the drug to cancer cells can be achieved by cooperative action of enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect and S-S bond cleavage by GSH.

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