Functionalization of Framboidal Phenylboronic Acid-Containing Nanoparticles via Aqueous Suzuki–Miyaura Coupling Reactions

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Polymeric nanoparticles with reactive functional groups are an attractive platform for drug carriers that can be conjugated with drugs through a cleavable covalent linkage. Since the required functional groups vary depending on the drug molecule, there is a need for development of a novel post-modification method to introduce different functional groups to polymeric nanoparticles. We recently reported phenylboronic acid (PBA)-containing nanoparticles (BNP) with a unique framboidal morphology created via one-step aqueous dispersion polymerization. Since BNPs have high surface area due to their framboidal morphology and contain a high density of PBA groups, these particles can be used as nanocarriers for drugs that can bind to PBA groups such as curcumin and a catechol-bearing carbon monoxide donor. To further explore the potential of BNPs, in this article we report a novel strategy to introduce different functional groups to BNPs via the palladium-catalyzed Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling reaction between the PBA groups and iodo- and bromo-coupling partners. We developed a new catalytic system that efficiently catalyzes Suzuki–Miyaura reactions in water without the need for an organic solvent, as confirmed by NMR. Using this catalyst system, we show that BNPs can be functionalized with carboxylic acids, aldehyde, and hydrazide groups while keeping their original framboidal morphology as confirmed via IR, alizarin red assay, and TEM. Furthermore, the potential of the functionalized BNP in drug delivery applications was demonstrated by conjugating the hydrogen sulfide (H2S)-releasing compound anethole dithiolone to carboxylic acid-functionalized BNPs and show their H2S-releasing capability in cell lysate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3602
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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