Dendrimers as carriers for delivery of chemotherapeutic agents

Scott H. Medina, Mohamed E.H. El-Sayed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

602 Scopus citations


Progress in controlled polymerization and synthesis techniques have led to the development of well-controlled dendrimers structures with a large number of surface groups that can be utilized to display a range of biological motifs. The high loading capacity of dendrimers renders them highly attractive as carriers for delivery of chemotherapeutic agents into tumor tissue for treatment of cancer. Both targeted and nontargeted dendrimer drug complexes successfully comes across tumor's leaky vasculature and accumulate in the cancer tissue. However, targeted dendrimer-drug complexes have the added advantage of selectively binding to the receptors displayed on the surface of cancer cells, which increases their residence time on the cell surface and enhances their internalization kinetics into the cell. The enhanced uptake of dendrimer-drug complexes coupled with the endosomal escape capability of cationic dendrimers result in efficient cytoplasmic delivery of the incorporated drug and remarkably higher anticancer activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3141-3157
Number of pages17
JournalChemical Reviews
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 8 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)


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