Dendrimer platforms for targeted doxorubicin delivery: physicochemical properties in context of biological responses

Magdalena Szota, Urszula Szwedowicz, Nina Rembialkowska, Anna Janicka-Klos, Daniel Doveiko, Yu Chen, Julita Kulbacka, Barbara Jachimska

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The unique structure of G4.0 PAMAM dendrimers allows a drug to be enclosed in internal spaces or immobilized on the surface. In the conducted research, the conditions for the formation of the active G4.0 PAMAM complex with doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX) were optimized. The physicochemical properties of the system were monitored using dynamic light scattering (DLS), circular dichroism (CD), and fluorescence spectroscopy. The Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring (QCM-D) method was chosen to determine the preferential conditions for the complex formation. The highest binding efficiency of the drug to the cationic dendrimer was observed under basic conditions when the DOX molecule was deprotonated. The decrease in the zeta potential of the complex confirms that DOX immobilizes through electrostatic interaction with the carrier’s surface amine groups. The binding constants were determined from the fluorescence quenching of the DOX molecule in the presence of G4.0 PAMAM. The two-fold way of binding doxorubicin in the structure of dendrimers was visible in the Isothermal calorimetry (ITC) isotherm. Fluorescence spectra and release curves identified the reversible binding of DOX to the nanocarrier. Among the selected cancer cells, the most promising anticancer activity of the G4.0-DOX complex was observed in A375 malignant melanoma cells. Moreover, the preferred intracellular location of the complexes concerning the free drug was found, which is essential from a therapeutic point of view.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7201
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number13
Early online date29 Jun 2024
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2024


  • PAMAM dendrimers
  • doxorubicin
  • dendrimer-doxorubicin interactions
  • drug delivery systems
  • DDS


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