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THE PHARMA REVIEW (OCTOBER 2008)

Dentrimers: An Effective Tool for Targeting Drug Delivery

M.M.Gupta, Shailly Gupta, Suruchi Yadav, B.S. Srivastava

Introduction: Dendrimers are a new class of three-dimensional, man-made molecules produced by an unusual synthetic route which incorporates repetitive branching of molecules sequences to create a unique novel architecture. “Dendrimers are perfect mono-disperse macromolecules with regular and highly branched 3-D architecture”. Dendrimers have often been referred to as the “Polymers of the 21st century”. As they are characterized by “branch upon branch” architecture, they represent a novel class of polymers, drastically different from that of traditional type polymers.
 
Dendrimers were first described by Vogtle et al in 1978 as cascade molecule. The word derived from the ancient word dendron meaning tree and from Greek suffix “mer” meaning segment. Dendrimers therefore, are highly branched like trees, with all the segments coming from a central core. They are perfect mono disperse macromolecules (polymers) with a regular and highly branched 3 D architecture. Dendrimers have also been known asarborals, cauliflowers and starburst polymers and because of their nano size (1-100nm) and mono-dispersity, as nanoscopic compound. Exceptional features of the dendritic architecture include a high degree of structural symmetry, a density gradient displaying an intra-molecular minimum value and a well defined number of terminal groups which may be chemically different from the interior. The combination of these features creates an environment within the dendrimer molecule facilitates an avenue to developing reliable and economical fabrication and manufacturing of functional nanoscale materials that would have unique properties (electronic, optical, opto-electronic, magnetic, chemical, or biological) that could be the basis of new nanoscale technology and devices.


Classification
Various classes of dendrimers reported in literature are arbitrarily based upon their chemical structure and physical characteristics as under.
 
Simple Dendrimers: They have simple monomer unit's e.g. Poly (amidoamine) Dendrimers poly (propylene mine) dendrimers, polyamino-phosphine dendrimers
     a. Poly (amido) amino (PANAM) Dendrimers: These are compound of poly (amidoamine) segments. E.g. star burst Dendrimers.
     b. Polypropyleneimine (POPAN) Dendrimers: These are known as dendritic boxes.

 

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