Author(s): Meng F, Hennink WE, Zhong Z
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Abstract Reduction-sensitive biodegradable polymers and conjugates have emerged as a fascinating class of biomedical materials that can be elegantly applied for intracellular triggered gene and drug delivery. The design rationale of reduction-sensitive polymers and conjugates usually involves incorporation of disulfide linkage(s) in the main chain, at the side chain, or in the cross-linker. Reduction-sensitive polymers and conjugates are characterized by an excellent stability in the circulation and in extracellular fluids, whereas they are prone to rapid degradation under a reductive environment present in intracellular compartments such as the cytoplasm and the cell nucleus. This remarkable feature renders them distinct from their hydrolytically degradable counterparts and extremely intriguing for the controlled cytoplasmic delivery of a variety of bioactive molecules including DNA, siRNA, antisense oligonucleotide (asODN), proteins, drugs, etc. This review presents recent advances in the development of reduction-sensitive biodegradable polymers and conjugates, with particular focus on the up-to-date design and chemistry of various reduction-sensitive delivery systems including liposomes, polymersomes, polymeric micelles, DNA containing nanoparticles, polyion complex micelles, nano- and micro-gels, nanotubes, and multi-layered thin films. It is evident that reduction-sensitive biodegradable polymers and conjugates are highly promising functional biomaterials that have enormous potential in formulating sophisticated drug and gene delivery systems.
This article was published in Biomaterials
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology