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Remotely controlled opening of delivery vehicles and release of cargo by external triggers

: Zhu, Dingcheng; Roy, Sathi; Liu, Ziyao; Weller, Horst; Parak, Wolfgang J.; Feliu, Neus


Advanced drug delivery reviews 138 (2019), pp.117-132
ISSN: 0169-409x
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
PA 794/21-1
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAP ()

Tremendous efforts have been devoted to the development of future nanomedicines that can be specifically designed to incorporate responsive elements that undergo modification in structural properties upon external triggers. One potential use of such stimuli-responsive materials is to release encapsulated cargo upon excitation by an external trigger. Today, such stimuli-response materials allow for spatial and temporal tunability, which enables the controlled delivery of compounds in a specific and dose-dependent manner. This potentially is of great interest for medicine (e.g. allowing for remotely controlled drug delivery to cells, etc.). Among the different external exogenous and endogenous stimuli used to control the desired release, light and magnetic fields offer interesting possibilities, allowing defined, real time control of intracellular releases. In this review we highlight the use of stimuli-responsive controlled release systems that are able to respond to light and magnetic field triggers for controlling the release of encapsulated cargo inside cells. We discuss established approaches and technologies and describe prominent examples. Special attention is devoted towards polymer capsules and polymer vesicles as containers for encapsulated cargo molecules. The advantages and disadvantages of this methodology in both, in vitro and in vivo models are discussed. An overview of challenges associate with the successful translation of those stimuli-responsive materials towards future applications in the direction of potential clinical use is given.