Modular Design for Delivery

Modular Design for Delivery

Author: Saskia Neubacher

Lothar Dunsch, Leibniz Institute of Electrochemistry and Conducting Polymers, Germany, Klaus Braun, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, and co-workers tackle the pitfalls of the administration of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents through the modular design of a BioShuttle.

The first module in the BioShuttle is the actual lanthanide, which is used as a contrast agent in MRI or as a therapeutic radiopharmaceutical. Whereas free lanthanides are known to be toxic, encapsulated lanthanides as mixed-metal nitride cluster fullerenes, GdxSc3–xN@C2n (x=0–3, 39⩽n⩽44), show reduced toxicity and superior water proton relaxivities.

The second module consists of a peptide nucleic acid (PNA) antisense sequence specifically targeting c-myc mRNA, which is expressed in cancer cells. This “address” module provides the BioShuttle with specificity for cancer cells.

Lastly, the third module consists of a cell-penetrating peptide, which is attached through a cleavable disulfide bridge and facilitates cell delivery. All modules act together to give a platform for specific delivery of lanthanide–scandium mixed-metal cluster fullerenes into target cells.

– the first society-owned, open-access, chemistry journal – is a journal of ChemPubSoc Europe published by Wiley-VCH.

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