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Eur J Med Chem. 2007 Jan;42(1):93-8. Epub 2006 Nov 7.

Evaluation of polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers as drug carriers of anti-bacterial drugs using sulfamethoxazole (SMZ) as a model drug.

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Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230027, China.


Sulfamethoxazole (SMZ), a sulfonamide with well-known anti-bacterial properties, is not freely soluble in water and causes problems in its clinical applications. In the present study we investigated the potential of ethylenediamine (EDA) core polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers as drug carriers of SMZ by aqueous solubility, in vitro release as well as anti-bacterial activity studies. Results showed that the aqueous solubility of SMZ was approximately proportional to dendrimer concentration (a 40-fold increase in solubility in 10mg/ml G3 PAMAM dendrimer solutions compared with that in double-distilled water at 37 degrees C). The in vitro release of SMZ in the presence of PAMAM dendrimers was significantly slower compared to pure SMZ dissolved in ethanol. Microbiology studies showed that PAMAM dendrimers could increase the anti-bacterial activity of SMZ (a 4- or 8-fold increase in the anti-bacterial activity of SMZ in dendrimer solution compared to pure SMZ dissolved in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) or 0.01 M NaOH solution). The in vitro release behavior and anti-bacterial activity studies indicated that PAMAM dendrimers might be considered as potential drug carriers of sulfonamides with a sustained release behavior under suitable conditions.

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