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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Review Article

Nanostructures for pH-sensitive Drug Delivery and Magnetic Resonance Contrast Enhancement Systems

Author(s): Xiao Sun, Guilong Zhang and Zhengyan Wu*

Volume 25 , Issue 25 , 2018

Page: [3036 - 3057] Pages: 22

DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666170406110642

Price: $65


According to the differences of microenvironments between tumors and healthy tissues, if the anticancer drugs or magnetic resonance contrast agents (MRCAs) can be controlled to precisely match physiological needs at targeted tumor sites, it is expected to acquire better therapeutic efficacy and more accurate diagnosis. Over the decade, stimuli-responsive nanomaterials have been a research hotspot for cancer treatment and diagnosis because they show many excellent functions, such as in vivo imaging, combined targeting drug delivery and systemic controlled release, extended circulation time, etc. Among the various stimuli nanosystems, pH-stimuli mode is regarded as the most general strategy because of solid tumors acidosis. When exposed to weakly acidic tumor microenvironment, pH-responsive nanoplatforms can generate physicochemical changes for their structure and surface characteristics, causing drug release or contrast enhancement. In this review, we focused on the designs of various pH-responsive nanoplatforms and discussed the mechanisms of controlled drug release or switch on-off in MRCAs. This review also discussed the efficacy of cellular internalization for these nanoplatforms via endocytosis of acidic tumor cell. Meanwhile, nanoplatforms response to acidic intracellular pH (such as endosome, lysosome) are discussed, along with approaches for improving drug release performance and magnetic resonance contrast enhancement. A greater understanding of these pH-responsive nanoplatforms will help design more efficient nanomedicine to address the challenges encountered in conventional diagnosis and chemotherapy.

Keywords: pH-responsive, magnetic resonance contrast agents, drug delivery systems, contrast enhancement, controlled release, cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy.

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