Multicomponent supramolecular polymers as a modular platform for intracellular delivery

M.H. Bakker, C.C. Lee, E.W. Meijer, P.Y.W. Dankers, L. Albertazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Supramolecular polymers are an emerging family of nanosized structures with potential use in materials chemistry and medicine. Surprisingly, application of supramolecular polymers in the field of drug delivery has received only limited attention. Here, we explore the potential of PEGylated 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxamide (BTA) supramolecular polymers for intracellular delivery. Exploiting the unique modular approach of supramolecular chemistry, we can coassemble neutral and cationic BTAs and control the overall properties of the polymer by simple monomer mixing. Moreover, this platform offers a versatile approach toward functionalization. The core can be efficiently loaded with a hydrophobic guest molecule, while the exterior can be electrostatically complexed with siRNA. It is demonstrated that both compounds can be delivered in living cells, and that they can be combined to enable a dual delivery strategy. These results show the advantages of employing a modular system and pave the way for application of supramolecular polymers in intracellular delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1845-1852
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2016


  • BTA
  • hydrophobic guest
  • intracellular delivery
  • multicomponent
  • self-assembly
  • siRNA
  • supramolecular


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