About this Research Topic
The development of precision nanomedicines to improve the diagnostics sensitivity and treatment efficacy of cancer remains a critical challenge in clinics. Stimuli-responsive ‘smart’ materials have received growing interest for diagnostics and controlled drug delivery. Variations in physiological parameters, such as hypoxia, low extracellular pH, enzymes, reducing conditions, etc are important hallmarks for identifying cancer, which are also closely associated with the proliferation, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis of cancer, rendering them attractive targets when designing bioresponsive materials. Armed with a better understanding of various biologically responsive mechanisms, various innovations have been made in the areas of materials chemistry, biomolecular engineering, pharmaceutical science, and micro- and nanofabrication to develop bioresponsive materials for the tumor diagnosis and therapy.
Compared to small molecular imaging probes and drugs, nanoparticles are considered to be a promising platform to design responsive mechanism upon different stimuli including O2, acidic condition, the presence of specific enzymes, redox, and so on, because their large specific surface area offers a large room to modified functional moieties. Although fruitful achievements have been reported in this area, great challenges remain in the development of activatable nanomedicines for precise tumor theranostics. For instance, because the progression of tumor is closely associated with multi-physiological factors in microenvironment, designing multi-sensitive mechanisms would be useful for fundamental studies and clinical applications. Furthermore, more effort is still needed to discover relevant biomarkers for understanding the tumor mechanism and find their activatable strategies. Finally, a few researchers have demonstrated the potential application of responsive imaging nanomedicines in clinics, including image-guided surgery, drug control release, evaluation of therapeutic efficacy, and photothermal therapy. However, strenuous efforts still need to revolve around developing strategies to upload anticancer agents with nanoprobes for constructing stimuli-responsive smart diagnostic and theranostic nanoplatforms.
This Research Topic covers areas such as:
• Molecular imaging nanoprobes triggered by tumor-associated physiological parameters for diagnostics and image-guided surgery, such as optical imaging, MR imaging, photoacoustic imaging and so on
• 'Smart’ nanocarriers for precision drug release
• Nanomedicine capable of responding to physiological environment for tumor photothermal or/and photodynamic therapy
• Multistimuli-responsive nanoprobes for disclosing the correlation between tumor-associated physiological parameters and tumor behaviors
• Strategies to upload anticancer agents with the nanoprobes for constructing stimuli-responsive smart theranostic nanoplatforms
Original Research articles, Reviews or Mini Reviews on recent achievements of activatable nanoprobes are all welcome.
Keywords: cancer theranostics, molecular imaging, drug delivery, precision medicine, activatable nanomedicine