State of the art of stimuli-responsive liposomes for cancer therapy

Document Type: Review Paper

Authors

1 Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Protein Technology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

Specific delivery of therapeutic agents to solid tumors and their bioavailability at the target site are the most clinically important and challenging goals in cancer therapy. Liposomes are promising nanocarriers and have been well investigated for cancer therapy. In spite of preferred accumulation in tumors via the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, inefficient drug release at the target site and endosomal entrapment of long circulating liposomes are very important obstacles for achieving maximum anticancer efficacy. Thus, additional strategies such as stimulus-sensitive drug release are necessary to improve efficacy. Stimuli-sensitive liposomes are stable in blood circulation, however, activated by responding to external or internal stimuli and control the cargo release at the target site. This review focuses on state of the art of stimuli-responsive liposomes. Both external stimuli-responsive liposomes, including hyperthermia (HT), magnetic, light, and ultrasound-sensitive liposomes and internal stimuli (pH, reduction, and enzyme) responsive liposomes are covered.

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