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Supramolecular Nanostructures Formed by Anticancer Drug Assembly

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journal contribution
posted on 27.02.2013 by Andrew G. Cheetham, Pengcheng Zhang, Yi-an Lin, Lye Lin Lock, Honggang Cui
We report here a supramolecular strategy to directly assemble the small molecular hydrophobic anticancer drug camptothecin (CPT) into discrete, stable, well-defined nanostructures with a high and quantitative drug loading. Depending on the number of CPTs in the molecular design, the resulting nanostructures can be either nanofibers or nanotubes, and have a fixed CPT loading content ranging from 23% to 38%. We found that formation of nanostructures provides protection for both the CPT drug and the biodegradable linker from the external environment and thus offers a mechanism for controlled release of CPT. Under tumor-relevant conditions, these drug nanostructures can release the bioactive form of CPT and show in vitro efficacy against a number of cancer cell lines. This strategy can be extended to construct nanostructures of other types of anticancer drugs and thus presents new opportunities for the development of self-delivering drugs for cancer therapeutics.