Programmed drug delivery: nanosystems for tumor targeting.

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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2007 May;7(5):587-93.
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Programmed drug delivery: nanosystems for tumor targeting.

Wagner E.
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit├Ąt,
Professor and Chairman of Pharmaceutical Biology-Biotechnology,
Department of Pharmacy, Butenandtstrasse 5-13, D-81377, Munich,
Germany.

Programmed
nanoscaled systems are emerging that may be very useful for
tumor-targeted drug delivery: novel nanoparticles are pre-programmed to
alter their structure and properties during the drug delivery process
to make them most effective for the different extra- and intracellular
delivery steps. Programming is effected by the incorporation of
molecular sensors that are able to respond to physical or biological
stimuli, including changes in pH, redox potential or enzymes.
Tumor-targeting principles include systemic passive targeting and
active receptor targeting. Physical forces (e.g., electric or magnetic
fields, ultrasound, hyperthermia or light) may contribute to focusing
and triggered activation of nanosystems. Biological drugs delivered
with programmed nanosystems also include plasmid DNA, small interfering
RNA and related therapeutic nucleic acids formulated as 'synthetic
viruses'.