Recent advances in pH/enzyme-responsive polysaccharide-small-molecule drug conjugates as nanotherapeutics

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Now-a-days, the polysaccharides are extensively employed for the delivery of small-molecule drugs ascribed to their excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability and modifiability. An array of drug molecules is often chemically conjugated with different polysaccharides to augment their bio-performances. As compared to their therapeutic precursors, these conjugates could typically demonstrate an improved intrinsic solubility, stability, bioavailability and pharmacokinetic profiles of the drugs. In current years, various stimuli-responsive particularly pH and enzyme-sensitive linkers or pendants are also exploited to integrate the drug molecules into the polysaccharide backbone. The resulting conjugates could experience a rapid molecular conformational change upon exposure to the microenvironmental pH and enzyme changes of the diseased states, triggering the release of the bioactive cargos at the targeted sites and eventually minimize the systemic side effects. Herein, the recent advances in pH and enzyme -responsive polysaccharide-drug conjugates and their therapeutic benefits are systematically reviewed, following a brief description on the conjugation chemistry of the polysaccharides and drug molecules. The challenges and future perspectives of these conjugates are also precisely discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120797
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation, China (Grant No.: 81850410554 and 82050410448 ) and fellowship of China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (grant No.: 2021MD703857 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

    Research areas

  • Carbohydrate polymers, Covalent conjugates, Drug delivery, Small-molecule drugs, Stimuli responsive nanomaterials

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