Background: Smart nanocarriers have been designed for tissue-specific targeted drug
delivery, sustained or triggered drug release and co-delivery of synergistic drug combinations to
develop safer and more efficient therapeutics.
Objective: Advances in drug delivery systems provide reduced side effects, longer circulation half-life
and improved pharmacokinetics.
Results: Smart drug delivery systems have been achieved successfully in the case of cancer. These
nanocarriers can serve as an intelligent system by considering the differences of tumor
microenvironment from healthy tissue, such as low pH, low oxygen level, or high enzymatic activity
of matrix metalloproteinases.
Conclusion: The performance of anti-cancer agents used in cancer diagnosis and therapy is improved by
enhanced cellular internalization of smart nanocarriers and controlled drug release. Here, we review
targeting, cellular internalization; controlled drug release and toxicity of smart drug delivery systems.
We are also emphasizing the stimulus responsive controlled drug release from smart nanocarriers.