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A review of small molecules and drug delivery applications using gold and iron nanoparticles

Authors Jahangirian H, Kalantari K, Izadiyan Z, Rafiee-Moghaddam R, Shameli K, Webster TJ

Received 21 August 2018

Accepted for publication 29 January 2019

Published 11 March 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1633—1657

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S184723

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Anderson Oliveira Lobo


Hossein Jahangirian,1 Katayoon Kalantari,2 Zahra Izadiyan,3 Roshanak Rafiee-Moghaddam,1 Kamyar Shameli,3 Thomas J Webster1

1Department of Chemical Engineering, 313 Snell Engineering Center, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 2Centre of Advanced Materials (CAM), Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 3Department of Environment and Green Technology, Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract: Conventional cancer treatment techniques show several limitations including low or no specificity and consequently a low efficacy in discriminating between cancer cells and healthy cells. Recent nanotechnology developments have introduced smart and novel therapeutic nanomaterials that take advantage of various targeting approaches. The use of nanotechnology in medicine and, more specifically, drug delivery is set to spread even more rapidly than it has over the past two decades. Currently, many nanoparticles (NPs) are under investigation for drug delivery including those for cancer therapy. Targeted nanomaterials bind selectively to cancer cells and greatly affect them with only a minor effect on healthy cells. Gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs), specifically, have been identified as significant candidates for new cancer therapeutic modalities because of their biocompatibility, easy functionalization and fabrication, optical tunable characteristics, and chemophysical stability. In the last decade, there has been significant research on Au-NPs and their biomedical applications. Functionalized Au-NPs represent highly attractive and promising candidates for drug delivery, owing to their unique dimensions, tunable surface functionalities, and controllable drug release. Further, iron oxide NPs due to their “superparamagnetic” properties have been studied and have demonstrated successful employment in numerous applications. In targeted drug delivery systems, drug-loaded iron oxide NPs can accumulate at the tumor site with the aid of an external magnetic field. This can lead to incremental effectiveness in drug release to the tumor site and vanquish cancer cells without harming healthy cells. In order for the application of iron oxide NPs in the human body to be realized, they should be biodegradable and biocompatible to minimize toxicity. This review illustrates recent advances in the field drug and small molecule delivery such as fluorouracil, folic acid, doxorubicin, paclitaxel, and daunorubicin, specifically when using gold and iron oxide NPs as carriers of anticancer therapeutic agents.

Keywords: small molecules, drug delivery, nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles, iron oxide nanoparticles



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