A series of glycolipid crown ether analogs was prepared by bis-propargylation of lauryl glycoside followed by subsequent click-coupling with ethylene glycol-based diazides. The triazole-linked macrocycles were obtained in remarkable high yields. While the surfactant assembly was affected by presence of sodium ions, suggesting the formation of complexes, no ion-selectivity was observed for the macrocylic ligands. Computational studies suggest a low but significant cation-binding activity of the macrocycle, involving coordination at both oxygen and nitrogen atoms.
Aiming for glycolipid-based vesicles for targeted drug delivery, cationic Guerbet glycosides with spacered click functionality were designed and synthesized. The cationic charge promoted the distribution of the glycolipids during the formulation, thereby leading to homogeneously small vesicles. The positive surface charge of the vesicles stabilizes them against unwanted fusion and promotes interactions of the drug carriers with typical negative charge-dominated target cells. High bioconjugation potential of the functionalized glycolipids based on the copper-catalyzed azide alkyne cycloaddition makes them highly valuable components for targeted drug delivery systems.
Two azide-terminated oligoethylene oxide spacered glycolipids have been synthesized, and their assembly behavior has been studied in comparison to the corresponding base surfactants. The results suggest potential of the Guerbet lactoside-based compound for targeted drug delivery, while a coiling of the ethylene oxide linker disfavors the application of the glucoside.