A natural based polymer, chitosan has received widespread attention in drug delivery systems due to its valuable physicochemical and biological characteristics. In particular, hydrophobic moiety-conjugated glycol chitosan can form amphiphilic self-assembled glycol chitosan nanoparticles (GCNPs) and simultaneously encapsulate hydrophobic drug molecules inside their hydrophobic core. This GCNP-based drug delivery systems exhibit excellent tumor-homing efficacy, attributed to the long blood circulation and the enhanced permeability and retention effect; this tumor-targeting drug delivery results in improved therapeutic efficiency. In this review, we describe the requisite properties of GCNPs for cancer therapy as well as imaging for diagnosis, such as their basic characteristics, in vitro delivery efficiency and in vivo tumor-targeting ability.
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© 2014 Future Medicine Ltd.
- amphiphilic nanoparticles
- cancer therapy
- glycol chitosan