Polydopamine Nanomaterials for Overcoming Current Challenges in Cancer Treatment

Shahinur Acter, Michele Moreau, Robert Ivkov, Akila Viswanathan, Wilfred Ngwa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In efforts to overcome current challenges in cancer treatment, multifunctional nanoparticles are attracting growing interest, including nanoparticles made with polydopamine (PDA). PDA is a nature-inspired polymer with a dark brown color. It has excellent biocompatibility and is biodegradable, offering a range of extraordinary inherent advantages. These include excellent drug loading capability, photothermal conversion efficiency, and adhesive properties. Though the mechanism of dopamine polymerization remains unclear, PDA has demonstrated exceptional flexibility in engineering desired morphology and size, easy and straightforward functionalization, etc. Moreover, it offers enormous potential for designing multifunctional nanomaterials for innovative approaches in cancer treatment. The aim of this work is to review studies on PDA, where the potential to develop multifunctional nanomaterials with applications in photothermal therapy has been demonstrated. Future prospects of PDA for developing applications in enhancing radiotherapy and/or immunotherapy, including for image-guided drug delivery to boost therapeutic efficacy and minimal side effects, are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1656
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2023


  • cancer treatment
  • immunotherapy
  • multifunctional nanoparticle
  • nanocarrier
  • photothermal therapy
  • polydopamine
  • radiation therapy
  • synergistic treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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