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Polymers 2016, 8(7), 268; doi:10.3390/polym8070268

Stimuli-Responsive Block Copolymer-Based Assemblies for Cargo Delivery and Theranostic Applications

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hefei University of Technology and Anhui Key Laboratory of Advanced Functional Materials and Devices, Hefei 230009, China
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Academic Editor: Shiyong Liu
Received: 27 June 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 22 July 2016
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Abstract

Although a number of tactics towards the fabrication and biomedical exploration of stimuli-responsive polymeric assemblies being responsive and adaptive to various factors have appeared, the controlled preparation of assemblies with well-defined physicochemical properties and tailor-made functions are still challenges. These responsive polymeric assemblies, which are triggered by stimuli, always exhibited reversible or irreversible changes in chemical structures and physical properties. However, simple drug/polymer nanocomplexes cannot deliver or release drugs into the diseased sites and cells on-demand due to the inevitable biological barriers. Hence, utilizing therapeutic or imaging agents-loaded stimuli-responsive block copolymer assemblies that are responsive to tumor internal microenvironments (pH, redox, enzyme, and temperature, etc.) or external stimuli (light and electromagnetic field, etc.) have emerged to be an important solution to improve therapeutic efficacy and imaging sensitivity through rationally designing as well as self-assembling approaches. In this review, we summarize a portion of recent progress in tumor and intracellular microenvironment responsive block copolymer assemblies and their applications in anticancer drug delivery and triggered release and enhanced imaging sensitivity. The outlook on future developments is also discussed. We hope that this review can stimulate more revolutionary ideas and novel concepts and meet the significant interest to diverse readers. View Full-Text
Keywords: block copolymers; stimuli-responsive; nanocarriers; drug delivery; theranostic block copolymers; stimuli-responsive; nanocarriers; drug delivery; theranostic
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Yin, J.; Chen, Y.; Zhang, Z.-H.; Han, X. Stimuli-Responsive Block Copolymer-Based Assemblies for Cargo Delivery and Theranostic Applications. Polymers 2016, 8, 268.

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