Simulation and synthesis of a self-assembling and tumor-targeted drug delivery system

M. McTaggart, X. Li, C. Malardier-Jugroot
Royal Military College of Canada, CA

Keywords: self-assembly, folate-conjugation, targeted release, nanotube


Poly(styrene-alt-maleic anhydride) is an amphiphilic alternating copolymer that self-assembles into supramolecular nanotubes in aqueous, physiological-pH environments. Its 2nm hydrophobic inner diameter is stable in neutral pH solution but opens as pH drops. Folate-conjugated nanotubes could therefore potentially transport small, highly toxic, hydrophobic chemotherapy agents safely through the body to be released selectively inside target cells. The paper will discuss the multi-step, room temperature synthesis method as well as characterization including IR, NMR, DLS and TEM at each step. Computational methods were used to explore oligomer linearity, an essential factor for nanotube formation and pH sensitivity.