A drug-specific nanocarrier design for efficient anticancer therapy

Changying Shi, Dandan Guo, Kai Xiao, Xu Wang, Lili Wang, Juntao Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The drug-loading properties of nanocarriers depend on the chemical structures and properties of their building blocks. Here we customize telodendrimers (linear dendritic copolymer) to design a nanocarrier with improved in vivo drug delivery characteristics. We do a virtual screen of a library of small molecules to identify the optimal building blocks for precise telodendrimer synthesis using peptide chemistry. With rationally designed telodendrimer architectures, we then optimize the drug-binding affinity of a nanocarrier by introducing an optimal drug-binding molecule (DBM) without sacrificing the stability of the nanocarrier. To validate the computational predictions, we synthesize a series of nanocarriers and evaluate systematically for doxorubicin delivery. Rhein-containing nanocarriers have sustained drug release, prolonged circulation, increased tolerated dose, reduced toxicity, effective tumour targeting and superior anticancer effects owing to favourable doxorubicin-binding affinity and improved nanoparticle stability. This study demonstrates the feasibility and versatility of the de novo design of telodendrimer nanocarriers for specific drug molecules, which is a promising approach to transform nanocarrier development for drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7449
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - Jul 9 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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