Molecular bioSystems

Nucleolipid nanovectors as molecular carriers for potential applications in drug delivery.

PMID 21897988


Novel thymidine- or uridine-based nucleolipids, containing one hydrophilic oligo(ethylene glycol) chain and one or two oleic acid residues (called ToThy, HoThy and DoHu), have been synthesized with the aim to develop bio-compatible nanocarriers for drug delivery and/or produce pro-drugs. Microstructural characterization of their aggregates has been determined in pure water and in pseudo-physiological conditions through DLS and SANS experiments. In all cases stable vesicles, with mean hydrodynamic radii ranging between 120 nm and 250 nm have been revealed. Biological validation of the nucleolipidic nanocarriers was ensured by evaluation of their toxicological profiles, performed by administration of the nanoaggregates to a panel of different cell lines. ToThy exhibited a weak cytotoxicity and, at high concentration, some ability to interfere with cell viability and/or proliferation. In contrast, DoHu and HoThy exhibited no toxicological relevance, behaving similarly to POPC-based liposomes, widely used for systemic drug delivery. Taken together, these results show nucleolipid-based nanocarriers as finely tunable, multi-functional self-assembling materials of interest for the in vivo transport of biomolecules or drugs.

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