Partitioning of model toxins to hydrophobically terminated DAB dendrimers
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Dendrimers are attractive in biological and biomedical applications due to the similarity in their molecular size to biologically relevant molecules and the large number of chain ends available functionalization. In the current work, we examined the potential of diamino butane (DAB) dendrimers functionalized with long alkyl chains as partitioning agents for hydrophobic toxins for use as a prefiltering stage in a bioartiticial liver. DAB dendrimers of various generations that had been previously fully modified with palmitoyl chloride were obtained. A study of the kinetics of partitioning of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) suggested that while significant toxin removal occurred in 30 s, although a slight time dependent increase in removal was noted up to 60 minutes. The partitioning of 6 hydrophobic toxins from aqueous solution to the modified dendrimers in 30 minutes was examined. The results demonstrated that a number of factors, including the pKa of the toxin, its octanol water partitioning coefficient and molecular size contributed to the level of toxin removal. Toxin removal on a molar basis increased with increasing dendrimer generation for all toxins, with the modified G5 dendrimers partitioning 50-100 toxin molecules in most cases. Dendrimer modification with C4 alkyl chains rather than Cl5 chains significantly decreased toxin removal, although chains longer than C10 seemed to partition equal amounts of toxins. The results of the study demonstrate that water-soluble dendrimers modified with hydrophobic end groups may be useful for the removal of toxins from the blood in a prereaction step for a bioartificial liver, but that a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of removal may be necessary before it is possible to predict the levels of toxin removal.
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