Advanced drug and gene delivery systems based on functional biodegradable polycarbonates and copolymers

Wei Chen, Fenghua Meng, R. Cheng, C. Deng, Jan Feijen, Zhiyuan Zhong

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143 Citations (Scopus)
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Biodegradable polymeric nanocarriers are one of the most promising systems for targeted and controlled drug and gene delivery. They have shown several unique advantages such as excellent biocompatibility, prolonged circulation time, passive tumor targeting via the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, and degradation in vivo into nontoxic products after completing their tasks. The current biodegradable drug and gene delivery systems exhibit, however, typically low in vivo therapeutic efficacy, due to issues of low loading capacity, inadequate in vivo stability, premature cargo release, poor uptake by target cells, and slow release of therapeutics inside tumor cells. To overcome these problems, a variety of advanced drug and gene delivery systems has recently been designed and developed based on functional biodegradable polycarbonates and copolymers. Notably, polycarbonates and copolymers with diverse functionalities such as hydroxyl, carboxyl, amine, alkene, alkyne, halogen, azido, acryloyl, vinyl sulfone, pyridyldisulfide, and saccharide, could be readily obtained by controlled ring-opening polymerization. In this paper, we give an overview on design concepts and recent developments of functional polycarbonate-based nanocarriers including stimuli-sensitive, photo-crosslinkable, or active targeting polymeric micelles, polymersomes and polyplexes for enhanced drug and gene delivery in vitro and in vivo. These multifunctional biodegradable nanosystems might be eventually developed for safe and efficient cancer chemotherapy and gene therapy
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)398-414
JournalJournal of controlled release
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-309524
  • IR-95156

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