Encyclopedia of Ionic Liquids

Living Edition
| Editors: Suojiang Zhang

Ionic Liquids for Anticancer Application

  • Maya GunchevaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-6739-6_6-1



Cancer is a serious life-threatening and/or chronic disease with a considerable social and economic impact on a global scale. The World Health Organization reports for 18.1 million newly registered cancer patients and 9.6 million cancer deaths in 2018 (https://www.who.int/cancer/PRGlobocanFinal.pdf). While searching for innovative and effective anticancer drugs, researchers have focused their attention on ionic liquids (ILs) as potential anticancer therapeutics. ILs are compounds composed of large organic cations and organic or inorganic anions [1]. In general, they are characterized with low melting points (below 100 °C), low volatility, and high-temperature stability [1]. Their chemical structure can be easily modified; therefore their physicochemical properties and biological activities are easily tunable. ILs are synthesized via reactions of neutralization or metatheses [1].

Cellular toxicity is a complex process involving multiple pathways,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.
    Welton T (1999) Room-temperature ionic liquids. Chem Rev 99(8):2071–2084CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dias AR, Costa-Rodrigues J, Fernandes MH, Ferraz R, PrudÞncio C (2017) The anticancer potential of ionic liquids. Chem Med Chem 12:11–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Egorova K, Gordeev EG, Ananikov V (2017) Biological activity of ionic liquids and their application in pharmaceutics and medicine. Chem Rev 117:7132–7189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Liu G, Zhong R, Hu R, Zhang F (2012) Applications of ionic liquids in biomedicine. Biophys Rev Lett 7(3–4):121–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kumar RA, Papaıconomou N, Lee J-M, Salminen J, Clark DS, Prausnitz JM (2009) In vitro cytotoxicities of ionic liquids: effect of cation rings, functional groups, and anions. Environ Toxicol 24:388–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Malhotra S, Kumar V (2010) A profile of the in vitro anti-tumor activity of imidazolium-based ionic liquids. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 20:581–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zhang Z-B, Fu S-B, Duan H-F, Lin Y-J, Yang Y (2010) Brand-new function of well-designed ionic liquid: inhibitor of tumor cell growth. Chem Res Chinese U 26(5):757–760Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rezki N, Messali M, Al-Sodies SA, Naqvi A, Bardaweel SK, Al-blewi FF, Aouad MR, El Ashry ESH (2018) Design, synthesis, in-silico and in-vitro evaluation of di-cationic pyridinium ionic liquids as potential anticancer scaffolds. J Mol Liq 265:428–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Stepnowski P, Składanowski AC, Ludwiczak A, Laczyńska E (2004) Evaluating the cytotoxicity of ionic liquids using human cell line HeLa. Hum Exp Toxicol 23(11):513–517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Frade R, Simeonov S, Rosatella AA, Siopa F, Afonso CAM (2013) Toxicological evaluation of magnetic ionic liquids inhuman cell lines. Chemosphere 92:100–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ferraz R, Costa-Rodrigues J, Fernandes MH, Santos MM, Marrucho IM, Rebelo LPN, PrudÞncio C, Paulo Noronha J, Petrovski Z, Branco LC (2015) Antitumor activity of ionic liquids based on ampicillin. Chem Med Chem 10:1480–1483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Moshikur RM, Chowdhury MR, Wakabayashi R, Tahara Y, Moniruzzaman M, Goto M (2019) Ionic liquids with methotrexate moieties as a potential anticancer prodrug: synthesis, characterization and solubility evaluation. J Mol Liq 278:226–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Egorova KS, Kucherov FA, Posvyatenko AV, Ananikov VP (2016) Synthesis of doxorubicin-containing ionic liquid and study of its biological activity. Med Chem. ISSN: 2161–0444.  https://doi.org/10.4172/2161-0444.C1.028
  14. 14.
    Kucherov FA, Egorova KS, Posvyatenko AV, Eremin DB, Ananikov VP (2017) Investigation of cytotoxic activity of mitoxantrone at the individual cell level by using ionic-liquid-tag-enhanced mass spectrometry. Anal Chem 89(24):13374–13381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Suresh C, Zhao H, Gumbs A, Chetty CS, Bose HS (2012) New ionic derivatives of betulinic acid as highly potent anti-cancer agents. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 22:1734–1738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chowdhury MR, Moshikur RM, Wakabayashi R, Tahara Y, Kamiya N, Moniruzzaman M, Goto M (2018) Ionic-liquid-based paclitaxel preparation: a new potential formulation for cancer treatment. Mol Pharm 15(6):2484–2488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pyne A, Kundu S, Banerjee P, Sarkar N (2018) Unveiling the aggregation behavior of doxorubicin hydrochloride in aqueous solution of 1-octyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride and the effect of bile salt on these aggregates: a microscopic study. Langmuir 34(10):3296–3306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Alavi-Tabari SAR, Khalilzadeh MA, Karimi-Maleh H (2018) Simultaneous determination of doxorubicin and dasatinib as two breast anticancer drugs uses an amplified sensor with ionic liquid and ZnO nanoparticles. J Electroanal Chem 811:84–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Fouladgar M (2018) CuO-CNT nanocomposite/ionic liquid modified sensor as new breast anticancer approach for determination of doxorubicin and 5-fluorouracil drugs. J Electrochem Soc 165(13):B559–B564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ye H, Qin B, Sun Y, Li J (2017) Electrochemical detection of VEGF165 lung cancer marker based on Au-Pd alloy assisted aptasenor. Int J Electrochem Sci 12:1818–1828CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, Bulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria

Section editors and affiliations

  • Zhonghao Li
    • 1
  • Maya Guncheva
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Colloid and Interface Chemistry, Ministry of EducationShandong UniversityJinanChina
  2. 2.Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, Bulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria