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UV and Near-IR Triggered Release from Polymeric Micelles and Nanoparticles

Nano- and micro-carriers were originally conceived to release active molecules passively via diffusion or upon long-term erosion. However, with the help of novel, minimally invasive technologies, which enable their remotely induced disruption, these systems have evolved to become smart carriers able to release substances upon subtle structural changes in response to certain physiological environments/processes or external applied stimuli. In the present chapter, light-responsive polymer-based drug-delivery systems are reviewed in terms of i) interactions of light with the biological tissues and the repercussions on the use of light as an external stimulus for drug delivery and related applications; ii) materials and methodologies useful for their preparation; iii) mechanisms by which the light-responsiveness is imparted; and iv) structure of the carriers and applications for drug release. Representative examples of ultra-violet (UV) and near-infrared (near-IR) light-responsive polymeric micelles, polymersomes, micro-/nanocapsules and micro-/nanoparticles for drug delivery are discussed from the point of view of their composition, preparation, mechanism involved in irradiation induced release and potential clinical applications.

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17 Apr 2013
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From the book series:
Smart Materials Series