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Smart Dendrimers

Dendrimers are synthetic macromolecules with well-defined structures, many terminal functional groups and an inner space that can hold small molecules. These properties make dendrimers potential drug carriers. Recently, stimuli-responsive drug-delivery systems (DDSs) have become attractive because of their reduced side effects and provision of maximal drug action. This chapter reviews the properties of various dendrimer nanoparticles, in particular their sensitivity to stimuli including temperature, light, pH, redox state and enzymatic activity. Strategies for the design of dendrimers for stimuli-responsive DDS are provided. Because the combination of diagnosis and drug delivery is very attractive for DDS, this chapter also discusses theragnostic dendrimers; i.e. the use of smart dendrimers for therapy and diagnosis. These smart dendrimers are useful for next generation DDS.

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17 Apr 2013
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From the book series:
Smart Materials Series