Smart nano-carriers have attained great significance in the biomedical field due to their versatile and interesting designs with different functionalities. The initial stages of the development of nanocarriers mainly focused on the guest loading efficiency, biocompatibility of the host and the circulation time. Later the requirements of less side effects with more efficacy arose by attributing targetability and stimuli-responsive characteristics to nano-carriers along with their bio- compatibility. Researchers are utilizing many stimuli-responsive polymers for the better release of the guest molecules at the targeted sites. Among these, pH-triggered release achieves increasing importance because of the pH variation in different organ and cancer cells of acidic pH. This specific feature is utilized to release the guest molecules more precisely in the targeted site by designing polymers having specific functionality with the pH dependent morphology change characteristics. In this review, we mainly concert on the pH-responsive polypeptides and some interesting nano-carrier designs for the effective theranostic applications. Also, emphasis is made on pharmaceutical application of the different nano-carriers with respect to the organ, tissue and cellular level pH environment.
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