Author(s): Nishiyama N, Kataoka K
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Abstract Polymeric micelles, self-assemblies of block copolymers, are promising nanocarrier systems for drug and gene delivery. Until now, several micellar formulations of antitumor drugs have been intensively studied in preclinical and clinical trials, and their utility has been demonstrated. Even compared with long-circulating liposomes, polymeric micelles might have several advantages, such as controlled drug release, tissue-penetrating ability and reduced toxicity such as hand-foot syndrome and hypersensitivity reaction. Importantly, critical features of the polymeric micelles as drug carriers, including particle size, stability, and loading capacity and release kinetics of drugs, can be modulated by the structures and physicochemical properties of the constituent block copolymers. Also, nano-engineering of block copolymers might allow the preparation of polymeric micelles with integrated smart functions, such as specific-tissue targetability, as well as chemical or physical stimuli-sensitivity. Thus, polymeric micelles are nanotechnology-based carrier systems that might exert the activity of potent bioactive compounds in a site-directed manner, ensuring their effectiveness and safety in the clinical use.
This article was published in Pharmacol Ther
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology