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Polyphosphazenes: Multifunctional, Biodegradable Vehicles for Drug and Gene Delivery

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Author(s): Ian Teasdale | Oliver Br├╝ggemann

Journal: Polymers
ISSN 2073-4360

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 161;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: polyphosphazenes | biodegradable polymers | drug delivery | gene delivery | polymer therapeutics | nanomedicines

ABSTRACT
Poly[(organo)phosphazenes] are a unique class of extremely versatile polymers with a range of applications including tissue engineering and drug delivery, as hydrogels, shape memory polymers and as stimuli responsive materials. This review aims to divulge the basic principles of designing polyphosphazenes for drug and gene delivery and portray the huge potential of these extremely versatile materials for such applications. Polyphosphazenes offer a number of distinct advantages as carriers for bioconjugates; alongside their completely degradable backbone, to non-toxic degradation products, they possess an inherently and uniquely high functionality and, thanks to recent advances in their polymer chemistry, can be prepared with controlled molecular weights and narrow polydispersities, as well as self-assembled supra-molecular structures. Importantly, the rate of degradation/hydrolysis of the polymers can be carefully tuned to suit the desired application. In this review we detail the recent developments in the chemistry of polyphosphazenes, relevant to drug and gene delivery and describe recent investigations into their application in this field.

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