'Smart' delivery systems for biomolecular therapeutics

Orthodontics & Craniofacial Research
Patrick S StaytonAllan S Hoffman

Abstract

There is a strong need for drug delivery systems that can deliver biological signals from biomaterials and tissue engineering scaffolds, and a particular need for new delivery systems that can efficiently deliver biomolecules to intracellular targets. Viruses and pathogens have evolved potent molecular machinery that sense the lowered pH gradient of the endosomal compartment and become activated to destabilize the endosomal membrane, thereby enhancing protein or DNA transport to the cytoplasmic compartment. A key feature of many of these biological delivery systems is that they are reversible, so that the delivery systems are not directly toxic. These delivery systems have the ability to change their structural and functional properties and thus display remarkable 'smart' material properties. The objective of this presentation is to review the initial development of smart polymeric carriers that mimic these biological delivery systems and combine similar pH-sensitive, membrane-destabilizing activity for the delivery of therapeutic biomolecules. We have developed new 'smart' polymeric carriers to more effectively deliver and broaden the available types of biomolecular therapeutics. The polymers are hydrophilic and stealth-like a...Continue Reading

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