Drug Delivery of Nitroxyl Using Photochromic Switch

Student: Marie McConville


Nitroxyl (HNO) has recently been shown to be an effective cardioprotective and anti-cancer agent. However, one of the challenges of researching nitroxyl and its effects in the body is that it must be generated in situ due to its extreme reactivity. This is most often done by using a nitroxyl delivery agent that decomposes spontaneously to release HNO where desired. However, current delivery systems suffer drawbacks such as uncontrolled release or concurrent release of toxic byproducts with HNO. Ideally, a delivery agent will release the nitroxyl with precise spatial and temporal control. The current research is aimed at synthesizing a photochromic molecule that upon exposure to the appropriate wavelength of light will indergo a retro Diels-Alder reaction and degrade into nitroxyl under physiological conditions. The specific class of photochromic molecules that are under investigation are dithienylethenes due to their high thermal stability.