The synthesis, EPR characterisation and biological evaluation of two new metallodendrimers, i.e. a poly(propyleneamine) dendrimer functionalized at the external surface with 4-bromo-1,8-naphthalimide and conjugated with Cu(II) and Zn(II), was performed with the aimto evaluate their antimicrobial and anticancer activity. The antimicrobial activity was investigated in meat-peptone broth against bacteria B. subtilis and P. aeruginosa, and the yeast C. lipolytica. The results showed that the compounds inhibited effectively the tested pathogens even after their deposition on a textile fabric. Anticancer activity was investigated against three human permanent cell lines from non-small cell lung cancer (A549), triple negative breast cancer (MDA-MB-231) and carcinoma of the uterine cervix (HeLa) in the c = 0.01– 30 μM concentration range. The results suggest that these compounds are promising for application in biomedicine as anticancer drugs in the design of new effective preparations. The antimicrobial and anticancer activity may be related to the peculiar structural and dynamical properties revealed for the Cu(II) complexes, by a computer aided analysis of the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra. This analysis indicated the formation, at the lowest Cu(II) concentrations, of a flexible rhombic Cu-N4 coordination with the internal amino groups of the dendrimer, which transformed into a Cu2-N4 coordination already at 0.25 equiv. of Cu(II).
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