PEGylated dendrimers with core functionality for biological applications

Steven J. Guillaudeu, Megan E. Fox, Yarah M. Haidar, Edward E. Dy, Francis C. Szoka, Jean M.J. Fréchet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Scopus citations


The synthesis of a variety of core functionalized PEGylated polyester dendrimers and their in vitro and in vivo properties are described in this report. These water-soluble dendrimers have been designed to carry eight functional groups on their dendritic core for a variety of biological applications such as drug delivery and in vivo imaging as well as eight solubilizing groups. Using a common symmetrical aliphatic ester dendritic core and trifunctional amino acid moieties, a library of dendrimers with phenols, alkyl alcohols, alkynes, ketones, and carboxylic acid functionalities has been synthesized without the need for column chromatography. The amines were PEGylated, leaving the other functionality of the amino acid available for further manipulation such as the attachment of drugs and/or labels. Radiolabeling experiments with the PEGylated dendrimers showed that they had a long circulation half-life in mice, confirming the potential of this class of dendrimers for therapeutic and/or diagnostic applications. A carboxylic acid functionalized dendrimer was elaborated to carry doxorubicin bound via a hydrazone bond. The drug-loaded earner accumulated more in tumors and less in healthy organs than the clinically used PEGylated liposomal formulation Doxil. The efficient synthesis, high versatility, and favorable biological properties make these PEGylated polyester dendrimers promising structures for therapeutic and/or imaging applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-469
Number of pages9
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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