Design of macromolecular drug delivery systems using molecular dynamics simulation

  • Author / Creator
    Patel, Sarthakkumar
  • In recent years, the use of self-associating block copolymer based drug delivery systems have attracted increasing attention as nanoscopic carriers for the encapsulation and the controlled delivery of water insoluble drugs. Currently, most of the drug formulations proceed by “trial and error” method with no distinct method to predict the right combination of block copolymers and drugs to give all the desired functional properties. This is simply because such drug delivery systems involve complex intermolecular interactions and geometric fitting of molecules of different shapes. So, in the context of block copolymer design process, quantification and prediction of the interactions between potential block copolymers and the target drug are of great importance. Computer simulations that can predict the level and type of interactions encountered in drug/block copolymer pairs will enable researchers to make educated decisions on choosing a particular polymeric carrier for a given drug, avoiding time consuming and expensive trial and error based formulation experiments. In the present thesis, we reported the use of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to predict the solubility of sets of hydrophobic drug molecules having different spatial distribution of hydrogen bond forming moieties in a series of micelle-forming PEO-b-PCL block copolymers with and without functionalized PCL blocks. The solubility predictions based on the MD results were then compared with those obtained from the solubility experiments and those obtained by the commonly used group contribution method (GCM). MD analysis techniques like radial distribution functions provided useful atomistic details to understand the molecular origin of miscibility and/or immiscibility observed between drugs and di-block copolymers. Based on the evidence of reported work, intermolecular specific interactions, intra-molecular interactions, local molecular packing, and stereochemistry of the hydrophobic block all play important roles in inducing miscibility between drugs and block copolymers. Additionally, not only the architecture of block copolymers but also the molecular characteristics of drug molecules, e.g., spatial distributions of hydrogen bond donors and acceptors on their molecules can affect the miscibility characteristics of binary mixtures. Depending on the groups present on drugs and block copolymers, any of the above factors can play vital role in the process of favouring encapsulation. The understanding of relative contributions of these interactions can help us to customize the performance of drug carriers by engineering the structure of block copolymers.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.