Key Technology Highlights
? Anticancer agent comprising Cucurbituril and pharmaceutical compound
The pharmaceutical composition can prevent effective components from being biologically degraded in vivo and can exhibit continuous drug effect for a long time just by a single dosage by controlling the release time of the platinum complex once it reaches target tumor cells.
? Cucurbituril-based Drug-delivery vehicles
Liposomes, capsules, or nanoparticles based on functionalized CB[n] can be easily prepared and decorated with imaging or targeting agents using supramolecular interaction between CB[n] and the binding partners. These vehicles can deliver various drugs with high efficiency in target-specific manner.
? Platforms for detection, immobilization, or purification of biomolecules
Highly selective and ultrastable supramolecular interaction between CB[n] and their binding partners make it possible to detect, immobilize, or purify biomolecules such as proteins or nucleic acids.
n Technology Platform
The core technology of Postech is to provide cucurbit[n]uril (CB[n], n=5-10) and functionalized CB[n] with excellent quality and applied it in various fields.
n Background and unmet needs
Cucurbit[n]uril (CB[n], n = 5-10) is a family of macrocyclic compounds comprising n glycoluril units. The pumpkin-shaped CB molecules have a hydrophobic cavity and two identical carbonyl-laced portals. While the hydrophobic interior provides a potential inclusion site for nonpolar molecules, the polar ureido carbonyl groups at the portals allow CB[n] to bind ions and molecules through charge-dipole and hydrogen bonding interactions. We and others recently reported that CB binds ferrocene derivatives with an exceptionally high binding constant (K ~ 1015 M-1) and good specificity in aqueous solution. The unique structure and recognition properties make CB[n] attractive not only as a synthetic receptor but also as a building block for the construction of supramolecular architectures. Furthermore, a direct functionalization method of CB[n] allowed synthesizing a wide variety of tailor-made CB derivatives to study many applications. Ion channels, vesicles, polymers, nanomaterials, ion selective electrodes incorporating CB[n], and CB-immobilized solid surfaces and silica gel have been reported and numerous other applications are being explored.
n Discovery and Achievements
Our research on CB[n] has many useful applications. For example, CB[n] can encapsulate a number of platinum-containing anticancer drugs, thus increasing their bioavailability and reducing their side effects. Nanometer-sized vesicles (JACS 2005), capsules (ACIE 2007), and nanoparticles (ChemComm 2009) made of CB derivatives are potentially useful in delivering drugs to specific targeted cells and tissues to enhance the efficacy of the drugs while minimizing the side effects. The synthetic ligand-receptor pair with ultrahigh binding affinity (PNAS 2007) which can be used as a “glue” in many chemical and biological applications may contribute to accurate and fast diagnosis. CB[n] and their derivatives to be useful in waste water treatment, odor removal, release of fragrance, separation of important bioactive molecules and many other nano- and biotechnological areas.