Biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles for therapeutic cancer treatments

Johan Karlsson, Hannah J. Vaughan, Jordan J. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Polymeric nanoparticles have tremendous potential to improve the efficacy of therapeutic cancer treatments by facilitating targeted delivery to a desired site. The physical and chemical properties of polymers can be tuned to accomplish delivery across the multiple biological barriers required to reach diverse subsets of cells. The use of biodegradable polymers as nanocarriers is especially attractive, as these materials can be designed to break down in physiological conditions and engineered to exhibit triggered functionality when at a particular location or activated by an external source. We present how biodegradable polymers can be engineered as drug delivery systems to target the tumor microenvironment in multiple ways. These nanomedicines can target cancer cells directly, the blood vessels that ply the nutrients and oxygen that port tumor growth, and immune cells to promote anticancer immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-127
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
StatePublished - 2018


  • Drug delivery
  • Immunotherapy
  • Nanocarrier
  • Stimuli-responsive materials
  • Targeted delivery angiogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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