Indexed on: 15 Sep '12Published on: 15 Sep '12Published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section B: Biological Sciences
Polymeric nanoparticulate systems have garnered wide interest as vehicles for intracellular reporter agents and anti-cancer drugs, in anti-cancer gene therapy, and in reducing the adverse toxic effects of metal nanoparticles. These wide ranging applications have been possible due to a favourable blend of polymer properties such as facile chemistry, diverse synthesis options, and amenability towards functionalization. An array of polymeric nanosystems have been developed which exhibit better encapsulation, higher bioavailability, and controlled release of therapeutic agents. In this review, we discuss strategies for synthesizing, tailoring and targeting polymeric nanoparticles, schemes for reducing metal nanoparticle toxicity by using polymers, and recent aspects of internalization and biodistribution of nanoparticulate systems with reference to cancer. We also present the recent clinical status of certain key nanoparticulate anti-cancer drug and gene formulations.