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Functional Photosensitive Polymeric Nanocarriers
Polymer nanoparticles can be loaded with active compounds entrapped within the core or adsorbed/linked onto the polymeric surface. The advantages of polymer nanoparticles as active principle delivery systems over other particular systems include high drug encapsulation efficiency, intracellular uptake, stability of encapsulated active substances, biocompatibility and biodegradability with tissue and cells, especially when prepared from biopolymers. The polymeric nanocarriers can be nanocapsules, composed of an oily core in which the drug is usually dissolved, dispersed, or embedded, surrounded by a polymeric shell that controls the release profile; and nanospheres, based on a continuous polymeric network in which the drug can be retained inside or adsorbed onto their surface.
The synthesis of light-responsive nanocarriers (LRNs) with a variety of surface functional groups and/or ligands has been intensively explored for space-temporal controlled cargo release. LRNs have been designed on demand for photodynamic-, photothermal-, chemo-, and radiotherapy, protected delivery of bioactive molecules, such as smart drug delivery systems and for theranostic duties. LRNs trigger the release of cargo by a light stimulus. The idea of modifying LRNs with different moieties and ligands search for site-specific cargo delivery imparting stealth effects and/or eliciting specific cellular interactions to improve the nanosystems’ safety and efficacy. This work reviews photoresponsive polymeric nanocarriers and photo-stimulation mechanisms, surface chemistry to link ligands and characterization of the resultant nanosystems. It summarizes the interesting biomedical applications of functionalized photo-controlled nanocarriers, highlighting the current challenges and opportunities of such high-performance photo-triggered delivery systems.
2. Polymer Nanoparticles
The entry is from 10.3390/polym13152464
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