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Polymers 2016, 8(10), 359; doi:10.3390/polym8100359

A Review of Thermo- and Ultrasound-Responsive Polymeric Systems for Delivery of Chemotherapeutic Agents

Wits Advanced Drug Delivery Platform Research Unit, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 7 York Road, Parktown 2193, South Africa
Refractories, Ceramics and Building Materials, National Research Centre, 33 El-Bohouth St. (former El-Tahrir St.), Dokki, Giza P.O. 12622, Egypt
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Shiyong Liu, Jinming Hu and Ravin Narain
Received: 24 August 2016 / Revised: 3 October 2016 / Accepted: 9 October 2016 / Published: 18 October 2016
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There has been an exponential increase in research into the development of thermal- and ultrasound-activated delivery systems for cancer therapy. The majority of researchers employ polymer technology that responds to environmental stimuli some of which are physiologically induced such as temperature, pH, as well as electrical impulses, which are considered as internal stimuli. External stimuli include ultrasound, light, laser, and magnetic induction. Biodegradable polymers may possess thermoresponsive and/or ultrasound-responsive properties that can complement cancer therapy through sonoporation and hyperthermia by means of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). Thermoresponsive and other stimuli-responsive polymers employed in drug delivery systems can be activated via ultrasound stimulation. Polyethylene oxide/polypropylene oxide co-block or triblock polymers and polymethacrylates are thermal- and pH-responsive polymer groups, respectively but both have proven to have successful activity and contribution in chemotherapy when exposed to ultrasound stimulation. This review focused on collating thermal- and ultrasound-responsive delivery systems, and combined thermo-ultrasonic responsive systems; and elaborating on the advantages, as well as shortcomings, of these systems in cancer chemotherapy. The mechanisms of these systems are explicated through their physical alteration when exposed to the corresponding stimuli. The properties they possess and the modifications that enhance the mechanism of chemotherapeutic drug delivery from systems are discussed, and the concept of pseudo-ultrasound responsive systems is introduced. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermoresponsive; ultrasound-responsive; sonoporation; hyperthermia; thermo-ultrasonic responsive; high-intensity focused ultrasound thermoresponsive; ultrasound-responsive; sonoporation; hyperthermia; thermo-ultrasonic responsive; high-intensity focused ultrasound

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zardad, A.-Z.; Choonara, Y.E.; du Toit, L.C.; Kumar, P.; Mabrouk, M.; Kondiah, P.P.D.; Pillay, V. A Review of Thermo- and Ultrasound-Responsive Polymeric Systems for Delivery of Chemotherapeutic Agents. Polymers 2016, 8, 359.

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