Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Chemistry Central Journal and Chemistry Central.

Open Access Open Badges Research article

Titanocene / cyclodextrin supramolecular systems: a theoretical approach

Adrian Riviş1, Nicoleta G Hădărugă1, Zeno Gârban1 and Daniel I Hădărugă2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Food Science, Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Food Processing Technology, C. Aradului 119, Timişoara, 300645, Romania

2 Department of Applied Chemistry and Organic-Natural Compounds Engineering, “Politehnica” University of Timişoara, Faculty of Industrial Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Carol Telbisz 6, Timişoara 300001, Romania

For all author emails, please log on.

Chemistry Central Journal 2012, 6:129  doi:10.1186/1752-153X-6-129

Published: 5 November 2012



Recently, various metallocenes were synthesized and analyzed by biological activity point of view (such as antiproliferative properties): ruthenocenes, cobaltoceniums, titanocenes, zirconocenes, vanadocenes, niobocenes, molibdocenes etc. Two main disadvantages of metallocenes are the poor hydrosolubility and the hydrolytic instability. These problems could be resolved in two ways: synthetically modifying the structure or finding new formulations with enhanced properties. The aqueous solubility of metallocenes with cytostatic activities could be enhanced by molecular encapsulation in cyclodextrins, as well as the hydrolytic instability of these compounds could be reduced.


This study presents a theoretical approach on the nanoencapsulation of a series of titanocenes with cytotoxic activity in α-, β-, and γ-cyclodextrin. The HyperChem 5.11 package was used for building and molecular modelling of titanocene and cyclodextrin structures, as well as for titanocene/cyclodextrin complex optimization. For titanocene/cyclodextrin complex optimization experiments, the titanocene and cyclodextrin structures in minimal energy conformations were set up at various distances and positions between molecules (molecular mechanics functionality, MM+). The best interaction between titanocene structures and cyclodextrins was obtained in the case of β- and γ-cyclodextrin, having the hydrophobic moieties oriented to the secondary face of cyclodextrin. The hydrophobicity of titanocenes (logP) correlate with the titanocene-cyclodextrin interaction parameters, especially with the titanocene-cyclodextrin interaction energy; the compatible geometry and the interaction energy denote that the titanocene/β- and γ-cyclodextrin complex can be achieved. Valuable quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) were also obtained in the titanocene class by using the same logP as the main parameter for the in vitro cytotoxic activity against HeLa, K562, and Fem-x cell lines.


According to our theoretical study, the titanocene/cyclodextrin inclusion compounds can be obtained (high interaction energy; the encapsulation is energetically favourable). Further, the most hydrophobic compounds are better encapsulated in β- and γ-cyclodextrin molecules and are more stable (from energetically point of view) in comparison with α-cyclodextrin case. This study suggests that the titanocene / β- and γ-cyclodextrin complexes (or synthetically modified cyclodextrins with higher water solubility) could be experimentally synthesized and could have enhanced cytotoxic activity and even lower toxicity.

Metallocenes; Titanocenes; Cyclodextrins; Supramolecular systems; Molecular modelling; QSAR

Graphical abstract