Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Faculty Mentor

Samantha Wilner


Presented during the 23rd Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 23, 2021 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

Among the current selection of modern drugs, most are hydrophobic causing insolubility in the aqueous bloodstream. In order to improve solubility, vesicles similar to a cell’s lipid bilayer can be formed to carry the hydrophobic cargo to targeted tissues. In this bilayer, hydrophilic head groups face the aqueous surroundings while hydrophobic tails along with any associated hydrophobic drugs remain protected from the external aqueous environment. These vesicles can then fuse with the cell membrane to deliver the drug cargo, thus improving delivery of poorly soluble drugs. Janus dendrimers (JDs) are branched amphipathic polymers which have displayed great potential for the formation of drug delivery vehicles due to their hydrophilic head groups and their four hydrocarbon chains which comprise the hydrophobic tail. Furthermore, we hypothesize that these JDs can be attached to nucleic acids in order to support dendrimersome formation and stabilization. This summer, using “click chemistry,” we obtained evidence supporting successful conjugation of an azide-modified JD to an alkyne-modified DNA through agarose gel electrophoresis and reverse phased high-performance liquid chromatography. We also tested various factors, such as DNA and catalyst concentrations, in order to improve our protocol and maximize yield of conjugate. Future studies will be extended into application of these conjugated dendrimers in the formation of dendrimersomes and programmed drug delivery.


Available to Ursinus community only.