Polymeric Nanoparticles for Targeted Delivery in Cancer Treatment: An Overview

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Advances in polymeric nanoparticles are rapidly progressing and offers new opportunities for targeted treatment of cancer. Nanoparticulate drug-delivery systems are capable of preferentially targeting large doses of chemotherapeutic agents or therapeutic genes into malignant cells while leaving the healthy cells free. Nanoparticles (NPs) used as drug delivery systems are submicronsized particles or colloidal systems that are constructed from a large variety of materials such as polymers (polymeric NPs, micelles, dendrimers), lipids (liposomes) viruses (viral NPs) as well as organo-metallic compounds. Various polymers are currently being explored to modify the properties of polymeric matrix which enables greater encapsulation efficiency and high therapeutic load with controlled release ability for the treatment of cancer. The present review explores the various types of polymeric NPs and the different ways in which they can be utilized for the successful treatment of cancer. The targeting approaches namely passive targeting and ligand based targeting using NPs have been discussed in detail and the applications of the different types of NPs in the effective treatment of cancer has been exemplified.
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