Predicting doxorubicin drug delivery by single-walled carbon nanotube through cell membrane in the absence and presence of nicotine molecules: a molecular dynamics simulation study

In order to study the interaction of the anticancer agent Doxorubicin with the single-walled carbon nanotubes with different diameters as drug delivery systems, the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been used. Also, for design and development of intracellular Doxorubicin drug delivery systems, a series of steered MD simulations are applied to explore the possibility of encapsulated Doxorubicin–carbon nanotube penetration through a lipid bilayer in presence and absence of Nicotine molecules at different pulling rates. Our simulation results showed that in spite of the adsorption of drug molecules on the outer sidewall of the nanotubes, the spontaneous localization of one Doxorubicin molecule into the cavity of the nanovectors with larger diameters is observed. It is found that the presence of Nicotine molecules in extracellular medium increases the required force for pulling nanotube-encapsulated drug as well as the required time for penetration process, especially at higher velocity. Also, the entering process of the Nicotine molecules into the carbon nanotube causes that the encapsulated drug molecule is fully released in the hydrophobic phase of the lipid bilayer.

Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma