Dextran Graft Copolymers: Synthesis, Properties and Applications

  • Yasuhiko Onishi
  • Yuki Eshita
  • Masaaki Mizuno


A graft polymer of methyl methacrylate (MMA) on dextran was prepared using ceric ammonium nitrate (CAN). The properties of these graft copolymers are very interesting because of their amphiphilic microseparated domain. The solubility, infrared absorption spectrum and thermal behavior of the graft copolymer were investigated. It was found that an extruded film of the copolymer not only shows better water wettability and water absorbing power than PMMA but also exhibits thrombo-resistance and can be formed into a transparent contact lens with an affinity for tears and blood. A transparent dextran-matrix copolymer (DMC) has also been newly prepared that consists of a polyelectrolyte complex between cationic dextran and unsaturated acids with compounds of vinyl. This material has been used for hard contact lenses and intraocular lenses. A stable latex of 2-diethylaminoethyl (DEAE)-dextran-MMA graft copolymer (DDMC) has been developed for non-viral gene delivery vectors that are autoclavable at 121 °C for 15 min. Transfection activity was determined using the X-gal staining method, and DDMC samples showed at least 5–10 times higher transfection activity than the starting DEAE-dextran hydrochloride. DDMC has been also confirmed as having a high facility for protection against DNase degradation. The resistance of B16F10 melanoma cells to paclitaxel was confirmed using survival curve analysis. A DDMC/paclitaxel complex showed superior anticancer activity to paclitaxel alone. The rate of mortality of the cells was determined using Michaelis–Menten equations, as the complex promoted an allosteric supramolecular reaction to tubulin. Our results show that the DDMC/paclitaxel complex was not extensively degraded in cells and achieved good efficacy as an intact supramolecular anticancer agent.


Dextran Contact lens MMA Matrix copolymer Non-viral gene delivery Transfection DNA Intracellular transport Cancer Drug delivery systems (DDS) Supramolecular facilities Melanoma cells Nanoparticles DEAE-dextran-MMA copolymer/paclitaxel complex Cancer Paclitaxel Graft copolymer DEAE-dextran 



This study is very thankful to the late Dr. Sadayoshi Kamia, professor emeritus of Nara Medical University, for his study of the Bio-Plastics and to the late Dr. George Butler, professor emeritus of University of Florida, for his encouragement and the education we received.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ryuju Science Co. LtdSetoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of MedicineOita UniversityOitaJapan
  3. 3.The Center for Advanced Medicine and Clinical Research, Nagoya University HospitalShowa-ku, NagoyaJapan

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