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Recent developments of supramolecular metal-based structures for applications in cancer therapy and imaging

Pöthig, Alexander and Casini, Angela 2019. Recent developments of supramolecular metal-based structures for applications in cancer therapy and imaging. Theranostics 9 (11) , pp. 3150-3169. 10.7150/thno.31828

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The biomedical application of discrete supramolecular metal-based structures, including supramolecular coordination complexes (SCCs), is still an emergent field of study. However, pioneering studies over the last 10 years demonstrated the potential of these supramolecular compounds as novel anticancer drugs, endowed with different mechanisms of action compared to classical small-molecules, often related to their peculiar molecular recognition properties. In addition, the robustness and modular composition of supramolecular metal-based structures allows for an incorporation of different functionalities in the same system to enable imaging in cells via different modalities, but also active tumor targeting and stimuli-responsiveness. Although most of the studies reported so far exploit these systems for therapy, supramolecular metal-based structures may also constitute ideal scaffolds to develop multimodal theranostic agents. Of note, the host-guest chemistry of 3D self-assembled supramolecular structures – within the metallacages family - can also be exploited to design novel drug delivery systems for anticancer chemotherapeutics. In this review, we aim at summarizing the pivotal concepts in this fascinating research area, starting with the main design principles and illustrating representative examples while providing a critical discussion of the state-of-the-art. A section is also included on supramolecular organometallic complexes (SOCs) whereby the (organic) linker is forming the organometallic bond to the metal node, whose biological applications are still to be explored. Certainly, the myriad of possible supramolecular metal-based structures and their almost limitless modularity and tunability suggests that the biomedical applications of such complex chemical entities will continue along this already promising path.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Publisher: Ivyspring International Publisher
ISSN: 1838-7640
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 May 2019
Date of Acceptance: 11 April 2019
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 01:42

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