Drug-initiated, controlled ring-opening polymerization for the synthesis of polymer-drug conjugates

Rong Tong, Jianjun Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paclitaxel, a polyol chemotherapeutic agent, was covalently conjugated through its 2′-OH to polylactide with 100% regioselectivity via controlled polymerization of lactide mediated by paclitaxel/(BDI-II)ZnN(TMS) 2 (BDI-II = 2-((2,6-diisopropylphenyl)amino)-4-((2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imino)-2- pentene). The steric bulk of the substituents on the N-aryl groups of the BDI ligand drastically affected the regiochemistry of coordination of the metal catalysts to paclitaxel and the subsequent ring-opening polymerization of lactide. The drug-initiated, controlled polymerization of lactide was extended, again with 100% regioselectivity, to docetaxel, a chemotherapeutic agent that is even more structurally complex than paclitaxel. Regioselective incorporation of paclitaxel (or docetaxel) to other biopolymers (i.e., poly(δ- valerolactone), poly(trimethylene carbonate), and poly(ε-caprolactone)) was also achieved through drug/(BDI-II)ZnN(TMS) 2-mediated controlled polymerization. These drug-polylactide conjugates with precisely controlled structures are expected to be excellent building blocks for drug delivery, coating, and controlled-release applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2225-2232
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 13 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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