Design and Synthesis of Complex and Fluorescent Labeled Cellulose-Based Derivatives for Orally Administered Drug Delivery Systems

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Virginia Tech


Cellulose ethers are valuable matrices for drug-delivery systems (DDS), namely amorphous solid dispersions (ASD). ASD are efficient vehicles that can solubilize and stabilize poorly soluble drugs by increasing the time that it takes for drugs to crystallize, thereby allowing higher drug concentrations and providing increased bioavailability. However, most commercially available cellulose derivatives were not specifically designed for this application, leading to gaps in understanding the key mechanisms by which ASD operate. This creates the need for polysaccharide derivatives specifically conceptualized for ASD and for elucidating structure-property relationships. In this dissertation, I successfully demonstrated regioselective and chemoselective techniques to functionalize cellulose to prepare new ASD as well as smart tracking devices. I efficiently and successfully create complex structures via appending bile salt substituents using olefin cross-metathesis. I ascertained that high performance crystallization inhibitors can be achieved with enhanced hydrophilicity by the marriage of two classes crystallization inhibitors (cellulose and bile salts), as illustrated with the commercial, fast crystallizing prostate cancer drug, enzalutamide. I obtained ketone-functionalized cellulose derivatives using oxidation chemistry to produce fluorescent poly- and oligosaccharides (hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, and hydroxypropyl beta cyclodextrin). Schiff-base chemistry was then explored to append a commercially available fluorescent label, Nile Blue. Due to the dynamic nature and hydrolytic lability of Schiff-bases, I applied reductive-amination chemistry with either one pot, or two-step techniques and evaluated the efficiency of these approaches. I characterized the new fluorescent polymers, and with the objective of elucidating ASD mechanisms, I investigated their response in solvents of different polarities to probe environment-sensitivity. Flavonoids are interesting drug candidates; they have been explored for many biomedical applications, including as inducers of apoptosis and functioning as antioxidants by radical scavenging. I prepared high-performance ASD polymer candidates, then prepared and characterized ASDs with different loadings of the flavonoids, genistein and quercetin. I explored the performance of polymers with different functionalities, hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity, and carboxylic acid content (cellulose acetate glutarate, 5-carboxypentyl hydroxypropyl cellulose, and hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose acetate succinate as positive control) by using in vitro dissolution studies. In this screening process, I determined that cellulose acetate glutarate provides the most advantageous enhancement, possessing the appropriate amphiphilicity to increase drug concentration in this study, supported by the similarity of the polymer and drug solubility parameters. I was further able to confirm via polarized light microscopy that advantageous nanodroplet formation occurs during the drug-release process.



carbohydrate, polymer, polysaccharides, cellulose, regioselectivity, chemoselectivity, drug-delivery