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Stimuli-responsive polymeric micelles for drug delivery and cancer therapy

Authors Zhou Q, Zhang L, Yang T, Wu H

Received 2 December 2017

Accepted for publication 13 March 2018

Published 18 May 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 2921—2942


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Qing Zhou,1,* Li Zhang,2,* TieHong Yang,1 Hong Wu1

1Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, School of Pharmacy, Air Force Military Medical University, Xi’an, People’s Republic of China; 2State Key Laboratory of Military Stomatology, Air Force Military Medical University, Xi’an, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Polymeric micelles (PMs) have been widely investigated as nanocarriers for drug delivery and cancer treatments due to their excellent physicochemical properties, drug loading and release capacities, facile preparation methods, biocompatibility, and tumor targetability. They can be easily engineered with various functional moieties to further improve their performance in terms of bioavailability, circulation time, tumor specificity, and anticancer activity. The stimuli-sensitive PMs capable of responding to various extra- and intracellular biological stimuli (eg, acidic pH, altered redox potential, and upregulated enzyme), as well as external artificial stimuli (eg, magnetic field, light, temperature, and ultrasound), are considered as “smart” nanocarriers for delivery of anticancer drugs and/or imaging agents for various therapeutic and diagnostic applications. In this article, the recent advances in the development of stimuli-responsive PMs for drug delivery, imaging, and cancer therapy are reviewed. The article covers the generalities of stimuli-responsive PMs with a focus on their major delivery strategies and newly emerging technologies/nanomaterials, discusses their drawbacks and limitations, and provides their future perspectives.

Keywords: nanomedicine, polymeric micelles, stimuli-responsive, drug delivery, cancer therapy

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