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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 408675, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/408675
Review Article

Emerging Technologies of Polymeric Nanoparticles in Cancer Drug Delivery

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Received 2 June 2010; Accepted 2 August 2010

Academic Editor: Lu Sun

Copyright © 2011 Erik Brewer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Polymeric nanomaterials have the potential to improve upon present chemotherapy delivery methods. They successfully reduce side effects while increasing dosage, increase residence time in the body, offer a sustained and tunable release, and have the ability to deliver multiple drugs in one carrier. However, traditional nanomaterial formulations have not produced highly therapeutic formulations to date due to their passive delivery methods and lack of rapid drug release at their intended site. In this paper, we have focused on a few “smart” technologies that further enhance the benefits of typical nanomaterials. Temperature and pH-responsive drug delivery devices were reviewed as methods for triggering release of encapsulating drugs, while aptamer and ligand conjugation were discussed as methods for targeted and intracellular delivery, with emphases on in vitro and in vivo works for each method.