Drug complexation, in vitro release and cellular entry of dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers

Parag Kolhe, Ekta Misra, Rangaramanujam M. Kannan, Sujatha Kannan, Mary Lieh-Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Highly branched, functionalized polymers have potential to act as efficient drug carrier systems. Dendrimers are ideal candidates among model hyperbranched polymers because of their well-defined structure and high density of functional groups. Using ibuprofen as a model drug, we studied the interaction between the drug and Polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers (generations 3 and 4 with -NH2 functionality) and Perstrop Polyol (generation 5, hyperbranched polyester with -OH functionality). FTIR and NMR studies suggest that ibuprofen predominantly forms a complex with PAMAM dendrimers because of the ionic interaction between the -NH2 end groups and the carboxyl group of ibuprofen. On an average, up to 78 molecules of ibuprofen could be incorporated into one molecule of PAMAM-G4-NH2 with 64 end groups. This complex is stable in deionized water and methanol. The in vitro release of ibuprofen from drug-dendrimer complex is appreciably slower compared to pure ibuprofen. The complexed drug enters A549 cells much more rapidly than pure drug suggesting that dendrimers may be able to carry the complexed drug inside cells efficiently. Hyperbranched Polyol (with 128 -OH end groups) appears to encapsulate approximately 24 drug molecules. Perhaps the lack of strong interactions between the -OH end groups and the drugs prevents complex formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-160
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 18 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendrimer
  • Hyperbranched polymer
  • Ibuprofen
  • Polymer drug complexation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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