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Issue 13, 2011
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Stimulus responsive nanogels for drug delivery

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Stimulus responsive nanogels are polymeric nanoparticles which are capable of responding to external stimuli by changing their physico-chemical properties, such as volume, water content, refractive index, permeability, and hydrophilicity–hydrophobicity. Compared with other polymer nanoparticles used for drug delivery, stimulus responsive nanogels are noted for their ability to encapsulate bioactive drugs, their high stability for prolonged circulation in the blood stream, and their controlled release and site-specific targeting of loaded drugs modulated by environment stimuli. Particularly, the application of stimulus responsive nanogels provides an interesting opportunity for drug delivery in which the delivery system becomes an active participant, rather than a passive carrier, in the optimization of disease therapy. In this article, the authors review the recent developments in the preparation and application in drug delivery of stimulus responsive nanogels which can respond to small temperature and pH changes, light, magnetic field, biomolecule recognition (specifically glucose responsive nanogels for insulin delivery), and multi-responsive nanogels. The limitations and future improvements of stimulus responsive nanogels are also discussed.

Graphical abstract: Stimulus responsive nanogels for drug delivery

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Article information

12 Nov 2010
07 Mar 2011
First published
07 Apr 2011

Soft Matter, 2011,7, 5908-5916
Article type
Review Article

Stimulus responsive nanogels for drug delivery

L. Zha, B. Banik and F. Alexis, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 5908
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01307B

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