Nitric oxide (NO) plays important roles in various physiological and pathological functions and processes in the human body. Therapeutic application of NO molecules has been investigated in various diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and infections. However, the extremely short half-life of NO, which limits its clinical use considerably, along with non-specific distribution, has resulted in a low therapeutic index and undesired adverse effects. To overcome the drawbacks of using this gaseous signaling molecule, researchers in the last several decades have focused on innovative medical technologies, specifically nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems (DDSs), because these systems alter the biodistribution of the therapeutic agent through controlled release at the target tissues, resulting in a significant therapeutic drug effect. Thus, the application of nano-systems for NO delivery in the field of biomedicine, particularly in the development of new drugs for cancer treatment, has been increasing worldwide. In this review, we discuss NO delivery nanoparticle systems, with the aim of improving drug delivery development for conventional chemotherapies and controlling multidrug resistance in cancer treatments.
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