Enzyme-responsive Drug-delivery Systems
This chapter offers an overview of recent advances in enzyme-responsive materials potentially useful for drug delivery. The systems already developed provide new insights into the chemical design rules and response dynamics achievable by exploiting enzymatic catalysis as selective triggers in controlled release. The first section provides a general introduction about the role of enzymes in diseased states and examples where molecular therapeutics have been developed specifically to interfere with biochemical processes. The parameters to consider in order to develop enzyme-responsive drug-delivery systems are then discussed. Different approaches to design hydrogels, micelles and silica nanocontainers with moieties that can be substrates of enzymes are described with the help of relevant examples that highlight their performance. The research in this area is gaining momentum at a significant pace and it is likely that the first therapeutic enzyme responsive materials will reach the clinic in the next decade.