Contribution to preparation of polymer conjugates containing ferrocene derivatives
Nokwequ, Mbulelo Geoffrey
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Cancer is one of the major killer-diseases in the whole world. It is a well known fact that the causes of cancer vary from person to person, they include, inter alia, exposure to carcinogenic substances like smoking, heredity, chronic irritation of body areas like exposure to radiation[l]. The alleviation of this disease is now one of the major challenges in the medical world. To this end, many drugs have been synthesized with the aim of curing this disease. The most widely used is cisplatin and its derivatives and it is more recently that metallocenes have also been employed as anticancer drugs. Recent studies have also shown that anchoring such drugs to biodegradable polymers improves their activity. In this study ferrocene derivatives containing a BOC (tert-butoxycarbonyl) protected polyamine which is susceptible to platination were synthesized with a view of anchoring these to a suitable carrier polymer. Ethylenediamine, propylenediamine, and diethylenetriamine were first protected using BOC. These protected polyamines were characterized using NMR (¹ H nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy, F AB-MS (fast atomic bombardment mass spectroscopy), FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) spectroscopy, and EA (elemental analysis). The protected polyamines were then attached to the ferrocenemonocarboxylic acid using a well known coupling agent DCC (N, N'- dicyclohexylcarbodiimide). These ferrocene derivatives were also analyzed using techniques such as NMR, MS, FTIR, and EA and they were found to have the expected structures. In parallel to this, a carrier polymer exhibiting a carboxylic acid side chain was synthesized from a poly (ethylene oxide) diamine and characterized by NMR, FTIR, GPC (gel permeation chromatography), ES-MS (electrospray mass spectroscopy), and EA . This polymer was later found to be water-soluble and has a long shelf life. This polymer was tested for biodegradability by digesting it with two endopeptidase enzymes, namely papain and proteinase A at 37 °C. Changes in molecular weight distribution of this polymer were then followed. The polymer was found to be slowly biodegradable.