A polydopamine-based platform for anti-cancer drug delivery†
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world with around 9.6 million deaths in 2018, approximately 70% of which occurred in the middle- and low-income countries; moreover, the economic impact of cancer is significant and escalating day by day. The total annual economic cost of cancer treatment in 2010 was estimated at approximately US$ 1.16 trillion. Researchers have explored cancer mitigation therapies such as chemo-thermal therapy, chemo-photothermal therapy and photodynamic–photothermal therapy. These combinational therapies facilitate better control on the tunability of the carrier for effectively diminishing cancer cells than individual therapies such as chemotherapy, photothermal therapy and targeted therapy. All these therapies come under novel drug delivery systems in which anti-cancer drugs attack the cancerous cells due to various stimuli (e.g. pH, thermal, UV, IR, acoustic and magnetic)-responsive properties of the anti-cancer drug carriers. Compared to conventional drug delivery systems, the novel drug delivery systems have several advantages such as targeted drug release, sustained and consistent blood levels within the therapeutic window, and decreased dosing frequency. Among the numerous polymeric carriers developed for drug delivery, polydopamine has been found to be more suitable as a carrier for these drug delivery functions due to its easy and cost-effective fabrication, excellent biocompatibility, multi-drug carrier capacity and stimuli sensitivity. Therefore, in this review, we have explored polydopamine-based carriers for anti-cancer drug delivery systems to mitigate cancer and simultaneously discussed basic synthesis routes for polydopamine.