Molecular hydrogelators consist of Taxol and short peptides/amino acids†
Injectable molecular hydrogels hold big potential for the local delivery of anti-cancer drugs for chemotherapy. We recently reported on a molecular hydrogelator of two complementary anti-cancer drugs of dexamethasone and Taxol. In this study, we study in detail the structure–gelation property of Taxol derivatives. We found that even the conjugates of Taxol and an amino acid such as glutamic acid, serine, and arginine with hydrophilic side chains were efficient molecular hydrogelators. The six gels reported in this paper were characterized by rheology and TEM and the release profile of Taxol from gels were also studied. Gels reported in this study possessed high drug (Taxol) loading percentages in self-assembled nanofibers, exhibited constant and sustained release of Taxol from gels, and were injectable. Our results demonstrated that Taxol derivatives were efficient gelators and the injectable gels formed by them might be developed into local delivery systems for chemotherapy.