CHAPTER 5: Redox-responsive Drug Delivery Systems
Published:09 Jul 2018
Disbalanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and glutathione (GSH) are characteristic features of tumor cells. High intracellular GSH concentration in tumor cells is a well-documented fact that leads to a very high reducing intracellular bio-milieu. High accumulation of ROS is known to occur in almost all cancers and can act as a two-edged sword during tumor development, by either promoting or inhibiting growth. These two features present unique opportunities to design drug delivery systems that are responsive to reduction or/and oxidation stimuli and has attracted accrued interest from researchers. These nanocarriers change their structural integrity, either through disassembly or degradation, to deliver their payload in the presence of the trigger. The aim of this chapter is to summarize the key developments in the design of materials with redox-responsive behaviour and their subsequent application in the field of nanomedicine targeting cancer. Strategies into exploiting both stimuli in a single nano drug delivery system to enhance therapeutic efficacy are also addressed.