Classification of stimuli-responsive polymers as anticancer drug delivery systems

Bita Taghizadeh, Shahrouz Taranejoo, Seyedali Monemian, Zoha Salehi Moghaddam, Karim Daliri, Hossein Derakhshankhah, Zaynab Derakhshani

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59 Citations (Scopus)


Although several anticancer drugs have been introduced as chemotherapeutic agents, the effective treatment of cancer remains a challenge. Major limitations in the application of anticancer drugs include their nonspecificity, wide biodistribution, short half-life, low concentration in tumor tissue and systemic toxicity. Drug delivery to the tumor site has become feasible in recent years, and recent advances in the development of new drug delivery systems for controlled drug release in tumor tissues with reduced side effects show great promise. In this field, the use of biodegradable polymers as drug carriers has attracted the most attention. However, drug release is still difficult to control even when a polymeric drug carrier is used. The design of pharmaceutical polymers that respond to external stimuli (known as stimuli-responsive polymers) such as temperature, pH, electric or magnetic field, enzymes, ultrasound waves, etc. appears to be a successful approach. In these systems, drug release is triggered by different stimuli. The purpose of this review is to summarize different types of polymeric drug carriers and stimuli, in addition to the combination use of stimuli in order to achieve a better controlled drug release, and it discusses their potential strengths and applications. A survey of the recent literature on various stimuli-responsive drug delivery systems is also provided and perspectives on possible future developments in controlled drug release at tumor site have been discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145 - 155
Number of pages11
JournalDrug Delivery: Journal of Delivery and Targeting of Therapeutic Agents
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Cite this

Taghizadeh, B., Taranejoo, S., Monemian, S., Moghaddam, Z. S., Daliri, K., Derakhshankhah, H., & Derakhshani, Z. (2015). Classification of stimuli-responsive polymers as anticancer drug delivery systems. Drug Delivery: Journal of Delivery and Targeting of Therapeutic Agents, 22(2), 145 - 155.