Computational studies of the encapsulation of ibuprofen and paracetamol into cucurbituril
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Herein, theoretical methods were used to study the cucurbituril (CB) as a possible carrier agent for the poor water soluble drugs ibuprofen (IBF) and paracetamol (PCT). These drugs form a stable inclusion complex with the CB during 50 ns of molecular dynamics simulation preserving its solvation shell. Likewise CB, both complexes are soluble in water with calculated solvation enthalpy of –131 and –133 kcal/mol for isolated CB. The binding free energy, obtained from the potential of mean force calculations, reveals that the IBF@CB complex is more stable (–16.7 kcal/mol) than the PCT@CB complex (–11.7 kcal/mol). Correspondingly, the binding energies obtained in DFT-D3/B3LY/6-31G(d,p) calculation are –30.07 and –24.51 kcal/mol for IBF@CB and PCT@CB, respectively. The high energy gap of complexes implies their chemical stability. Our results indicate that the CB can be a new carrier agent for IBF and PCT, improving their solubility and chemoprotection in aqueous media.