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Polymers 2013, 5(1), 161-187; doi:10.3390/polym5010161

Polyphosphazenes: Multifunctional, Biodegradable Vehicles for Drug and Gene Delivery

Institute of Polymer Chemistry, Johannes Kepler University, 4060, Leonding, Austria
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Received: 4 January 2013 / Revised: 1 February 2013 / Accepted: 4 February 2013 / Published: 8 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioconjugates/Biohybrid Polymers)
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Abstract

Poly[(organo)phosphazenes] are a unique class of extremely versatile polymers with a range of applications including tissue engineering and drug delivery, as hydrogels, shape memory polymers and as stimuli responsive materials. This review aims to divulge the basic principles of designing polyphosphazenes for drug and gene delivery and portray the huge potential of these extremely versatile materials for such applications. Polyphosphazenes offer a number of distinct advantages as carriers for bioconjugates; alongside their completely degradable backbone, to non-toxic degradation products, they possess an inherently and uniquely high functionality and, thanks to recent advances in their polymer chemistry, can be prepared with controlled molecular weights and narrow polydispersities, as well as self-assembled supra-molecular structures. Importantly, the rate of degradation/hydrolysis of the polymers can be carefully tuned to suit the desired application. In this review we detail the recent developments in the chemistry of polyphosphazenes, relevant to drug and gene delivery and describe recent investigations into their application in this field.
Keywords: polyphosphazenes; biodegradable polymers; drug delivery; gene delivery; polymer therapeutics; nanomedicines polyphosphazenes; biodegradable polymers; drug delivery; gene delivery; polymer therapeutics; nanomedicines
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Teasdale, I.; Brüggemann, O. Polyphosphazenes: Multifunctional, Biodegradable Vehicles for Drug and Gene Delivery. Polymers 2013, 5, 161-187.

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