Our most commonly used molecules for drug modification.
Dendrimers comprehend a class of nanoscopic compounds, with a well defined molecular structure, monodisperse and homogeneous. They differ from the classical oligomers/polymers due to their symmetry, high branching and maximized terminal funcionality density. They are considered to be the fourth and newest class of polymers.
They are composed of three main components: (1) an initiator, multifunctional core, that acts as a “germination seed”, an anchor point to the dendrimer growth, (2) interior layers, that compose the generations and (3) outer branch, the terminal branch that is functionalized. The terminal functionality can be modified by adding small molecules, including ions, drugs and biomolecules. This proccess can
drastically change the physicochemical, reactivity, dynamics and biological properties of dendrimers.
As drug carriers, dendrimers can promote controlled and/or targeted drug delivery. The bioactive compound may be conjugated to the dendrimer via : (1) directed conjugation to the surface; (2) the interaction through a spacer group; (3) branches with drug/bioactive compound, providing an exponential increase of the active part in each subsequent generation . Many dendrimer prodrugs have been synthesized, focusing on different biological applications(Santos, Ferreira, Giarolla, 2016). In LAPEN, dendrimers such as PAMAM and pentaerythritol are used for synthesis of prodrugs for many different neglected diseases.