Turn-On Supramolecular Host-Guest Nanosystems as Theranostics for Cancer

Hong Bo Cheng, Ying Ming Zhang, Yu Liu, Juyoung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Cancer is one of the world's most serious health challenges. Several problems and challenges still exist for cancer therapies especially because anti-cancer agents that are delivered to normal cells and tissues cause a number of severe side effects. In one general approach aimed at solving this problem, supramolecular systems, created by noncovalent interactions, have been designed and utilized for cancer-cell-targeted drug delivery. In addition, cancer-associated, turn-on supramolecular theranostic agents have received great attention in the biomedicine field because they can be selectively “switched on” in cancer cells. This attribute enables the avoidance of problems associated with cytotoxic effects on healthy cells and tissues. In this review, we summarize recent progress made in the design of turn-on supramolecular theranostic agents composed of host-guest nanosystems and their applications in biomedicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-574
Number of pages22
Issue number3
StatePublished - 14 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the editor for his kind invitation to submit this review. This work was supported financially by a National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (no. 2012R1A3A2048814 ) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grants 21502195 , 21432004 , 21472100 , 21772099 , and 91527301 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • SDG3: Good health and well-being
  • biomedicine
  • cancer
  • drug-delivery nanosystems
  • host-guest interaction
  • supramolecular chemistry


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