Nanoparticles have shown great promise in the treatment of cancer, with a demonstrated potential in targeted drug delivery. Among a myriad of nanocarriers that have been recently developed, dendrimers have attracted a great deal of scientific interests due to their unique chemical and structural properties that allow for precise engineering of their characteristics. Despite this, the clinical translation of dendrimers has been hindered due to their drawbacks, such as scale-up issues, rapid systemic elimination, inefficient tumor accumulation and limited drug loading. In order to overcome these limitations, a series of reengineered dendrimers have been recently introduced using various approaches, including: (i) modifications of structure and surfaces; (ii) integration with linear polymers and (iii) hybridization with other types of nanocarriers. Chemical modifications and surface engineering have tailored dendrimers to improve their pharmacokinetics and tissue permeation. Copolymerization of dendritic polymers with linear polymers has resulted in various amphiphilic copolymers with self-assembly capabilities and improved drug loading efficiencies. Hybridization with other nanocarriers integrates advantageous characteristics of both systems, which includes prolonged plasma circulation times and enhanced tumor targeting. This review provides a comprehensive summary of the newly emerging drug delivery systems that involve reengineering of dendrimers in an effort to precisely control their nano-bio interactions, mitigating their inherent weaknesses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science