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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Recent advances in aliphatic polyesters for drug delivery applications

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The use of aliphatic polyesters in drug delivery applications has been a field of significant interest spanning decades. Drug delivery strategies have made abundant use of polyesters in their structures owing to their biocompatibility and biodegradability. The properties afforded from these materials provide many avenues for the tunability of drug delivery systems to suit individual needs of diverse applications. Polyesters can be formed in several different ways, but the most prevalent is the ring‐opening polymerization of cyclic esters. When used to form amphiphilic block copolymers, these materials can be utilized to form various drug carriers such as nanoparticles, micelles, and polymersomes. These drug delivery systems can be tailored through the addition of targeting moieties and the addition of stimuli‐responsive groups into the polymer chains. There are also different types of polyesters that can be used to modify the degradation rates or mechanical properties. Here, we discuss the reasons that polyesters have become so popular, the current research focuses, and what the future holds for these materials in drug delivery applications. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2017, 9:e1446. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1446 This article is categorized under: Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants
Types and sizes of common nanocarriers used for delivery of anticancer drugs.
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Multistimuli‐responsive polyesters for drug delivery applications, responsive units are highlighted in various colors to highlight their functionaliy (pH = green, light = purple, temperature = blue, and reduction = orange).
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Light‐responsive polyesters with light‐sensitive units highlighted in purple.
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Reduction‐sensitive polyesters with reduction sensitive units in orange.
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pH‐responsive polyesters with pH‐responsive units highlighted in green.
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Nonstimuli‐responsive polyesters: (a) poly(hydroxypropyl methacrylamide‐g‐α‐tocopheryl succinate); (b) poly(Lac‐OCA)‐b‐{poly[Tyr(alkynyl)‐OCA]‐g‐mannose}; and (c) β‐CD‐PLA‐POEGMA 21‐arm star‐like polymer.
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