Nanozyme: new horizons for responsive biomedical applications
Nanozymes are nanomaterial-based artificial enzymes. By effectively mimicking catalytic sites of natural enzymes or harboring multivalent elements for reactions, nanozyme systems have successfully served as direct surrogates of traditional enzymes for catalysis. With the rapid development and ever-deepening understanding of nanotechnology, nanozymes offer higher catalytic stability, ease of modification and lower manufacturing cost than protein enzymes. Additionally, nanozymes possess inherent nanomaterial properties, providing not only a simple substitute of enzymes but also a multimodal platform interfacing complex biologic environments. Recent extensive research has focused on designing various nanozyme systems that are responsive to one or multiple substrates by tailored means. Catalytic activities of nanozymes can be regulated by pH, H2O2 and glutathione concentrations and levels of oxygenation in different microenvironments. Moreover, nanozymes can be remotely-controlled via different stimuli, including a magnetic field, light, ultrasound, and heat. Collectively, these factors can be adjusted to maximize the diagnostic and therapeutic efficacies of different diseases in biomedical settings. Therefore, by integrating the catalytic property and inherent nanomaterial nature of nanozyme systems, we anticipate that stimuli-responsive nanozymes will open up new horizons for diagnosis, treatment, and theranostics.