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    Classic prodrug strategies rely on covalent modification of active drugs to provide systems with superior pharmacokinetic properties than the parent drug and facilitate administration. Supramolecular chemistry is providing a new approach to developing prodrug-like systems, wherein the characteristics of a drug are modified in a beneficial manner by creating host-guest complexes that then permit the stimulus-induced release of the active species in a controlled manner. These complexes are termed "supramolecular prodrugs". In this review, we outline the concept of supramolecular drugs via host-guest chemistry and detail progress made in the area. This summary is designed to highlight the many advantages of supramolecular prodrugs, including ease-of-preparation, molecular-level protection, sensitive response to bio-stimuli, traceless release, and adaptability to different drugs. Limitations of the approach and opportunities for future growth are also detailed.


    Wen-Chao Geng, Jonathan L Sessler, Dong-Sheng Guo. Supramolecular prodrugs based on host-guest interactions. Chemical Society reviews. 2020 Apr 21;49(8):2303-2315

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    PMID: 32181453

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