Design, synthesis, and evaluation of dendrimers based on melamine as drug delivery vehicles



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A variety of dendrimers based on melamine are designed, synthesized, and evaluated for drug delivery systems. The synthesis of a dendrimer, including multiple copies of four orthogonally reactive groups, is described. The three groups on the surface are nucleophilic and include four free hydroxyl groups, four tert-butyldiphenylsilyl (TBDPS) ether groups, and sixteen amines masked as tert-butoxycarbonyl (BOC) groups. The core of the dendrimer displays two electrophilic monochlorotriazines. The dendrimer above is further manipulated for in vivo biodistribution: incorporation of the reporting groups Bolton-Hunter and DOTA (1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid); PEGylation for biocompatibility and size tuning. In preliminary biodistribution studies, dendrimers circulate in the blood for a longer time as the molecular weight increases, which is important to passively target tumor tissues via the EPR effect. Also, high uptake by the tumor tissues was observed in mice bearing prostate cancer xenografts. A drug delivery vehicle for the anticancer agent paclitaxel is described. This drug delivery vehicle contains sixteen molecules of paclitaxel via acid-labile ester linkage, two Bolton-Hunter groups, and sixteen monochlorotriazine groups for PEGylation. The in vitro drug release studies shows faster release of paclitaxel at lower pH in PBS.