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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Virus‐mimetic systems for cancer diagnosis and therapy

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Abstract Over past decades, various strategies have been developed to enhance the delivery efficiency of therapeutics and imaging agents to tumor tissues. However, the therapeutic outcome of tumors to date have not been significantly improved, which can be partly attributed to the weak targeting ability, fast elimination, and low stability of conventional delivery systems. Viruses are the most efficient agents for gene transfer, serving as a valuable source of inspiration for designing nanoparticle‐based delivery systems. Based on the properties of viruses, including well‐defined geometry, precise composition, easy modification, stable construction, and specific infection, researchers attempt to design biocompatible delivery vectors by mimicking virus assembly and using the vector system to selectively concentrate drugs or imaging probes in tumors with mitigated toxicity and improved efficacy. In this review, we introduce common viruses features and provide an overview of various virus‐mimetic strategies for cancer therapy and diagnosis. The challenges faced by virus‐mimetic systems are also discussed. This article is categorized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Oncologic Disease
Virus‐mimetic strategies exploited in the construction of nanoplatforms for cancer diagnosis and therapy
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Virus‐mimetic nanoparticles for tumor therapy. (a) Liposomal nanoparticle simulating the structural and functional traits of influenza virus for intracellular delivery of doxorubicin. Reprinted with permission from Chen and Chen. (2016). Copyright 2016 American Chemical Society. (b) Construction of the RGD‐R8‐PEG‐HA modified nanoparticles for tumor‐targeted delivery of hTRAIL plasmid. Reprinted with permission from Yang, Ou, et al. (2020). Copyright 2020 Elsevier
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Virus‐mimetic nanoparticles for tumor diagnosis. (a) In situ detection of exosomal miRNAs via the membrane fusion between virus‐mimetic fusogenic vesicles and the exosomes. Reprinted with permission from Gao et al. (2019). Copyright 2019 John Wiley & Sons. (b) Membrane coated metal‐organic frameworks mimicking the morphology, structure, and function of rabies virus for glioma imaging. Reprinted with permission from Qiao et al. (2020). Copyright 2020 John Wiley & Sons
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Nanoparticles mimicking the biological functions of viruses. (a) Assembly of cowpea chlorotic mottle virus with oligodeoxynucleotides achieved by adjusting the pH/salt concentration. Reprinted with permission from Cai, Shukla, et al. (2020). Copyright 2020 John Wiley & Sons. (b) Decoration of the transacting activator of transduction peptide on the exterior surface of tobacco mosaic virus. Reprinted with permission from Tian et al. (2018). Copyright 2018 American Chemical Society. (c) Delivery of integral membrane proteins to target cells using fusogenic exosomes. Reprinted with permission from Yang et al. (2017). Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons
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Nanoparticles mimicking the shape and surface topology of viruses. (a) Assembly of virus‐capsid proteins with different lengths of dsDNA or ssDNA to generate spherical or rod‐like virus‐mimetic nanoparticles. Reprinted with permission from de Ruiter et al. (2019). Copyright 2019 Elsevier. (b) Electron microscopy images of silica nanoparticles mimicking the rough surface of viruses. Reprinted with permission from Niu et al. (2013). Copyright 2013 John Wiley & Sons. (c) Electron microscopy images of virus‐mimetic soft mesoporous organosilica nanocapsules constructed by decorating small‐sized silica nanoparticles on soft mesoporous organosilica hollow spheres. Reprinted with permission from Tao et al. (2020). Copyright 2020 Royal Society of Chemistry
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