Folic acid, transferrin and integrin alpha v beta 3 (αvβ3) receptors are overexpressed in various cancer cell lines. Ligands having high affinity for these receptors are often conjugated to nanocarriers to facilitate the tumor localization of therapeutic agents. In this review the use of these ligands for targeted delivery using liposomes, dendrimers and (N-(2- hydroxypropyl) methacrylamide) (HPMA) copolymers is discussed. Emphasis is placed on discussing drug delivery systems that have been optimized for in-vitro binding as well as in-vivo pharmacokinetics. Our aim is to understand the various factors influencing the targeting ability of nanocarriers.
Keywords: Polymeric drug delivery, liposomes, dendrimer, HPMA, folic acid, transferrin, integrin alpha v beta, tumor targeting, Polymers, micelles
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