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Targeted drug delivery has grown into an extensively studied research field exploring methods which allow selective or protected drug/tissue interactions. Triggered release systems based on the presence of physiological stimuli, such as pH, enzymes and redox-potential, have recently emerged for advanced therapeutic delivery applications.
Professor Frank Caruso and co-workers (University of Melbourne) have demonstrated how several independent release mechanisms can be brought together and synergistically function to tune cargo release profiles. They were able to generate a novel class of polymeric nano/microcapsules with dual-responsive release mechanisms via the versatile layer-by-layer technique and click chemistry.
These capsules could release cargo specifically in pH conditions that mimic intracellular acidic compartments. Further, the synergistic effects of pH and redox-potential allowed for rapid and efficient cargo release, even for extremely low intracellular reducing agent concentrations. The simple and efficient combination of the layer-by-layer technique and click chemistry for synthesizing "big-to-small" capsules with dual stimuli-responsive cargo release mechanisms broadens the possibilities for the design of "smart" capsules for intracellular therapeutic and diagnostic applications.
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