Concluding Remarks

There are multiple factors affecting the delivery of drugs and genes to tumors. Factors such as blood flow, angiogenesis, microvessel density, interstitial pressure, macrophage activity, extracellular and intracellular components, and, most importantly, the physicochemical properties of the drug carrier

FIGURE 13.3 Transfection images of mouse fibroblast (NIH3T3) cells treated with thiolated-gelatin nanoparticles encapsulated with plasmid DNA (pEGFP-Nl). The images show fluorescence of the expressed green fluorescent protein at 6 h (a) and 96 h post-transfection (b).

play an important role in the transport of drugs and macromolecules to tumors. This lab is particularly interested in enhancing the transport of drugs and genes to tumors by altering the physicochemical properties of the polymeric carrier used to encapsulate the drugs and genes. As shown in the illustrative examples, the biodistribution properties of the polymeric carriers could be modified using hydrophilic polymers such as PEG and PEO. This therapeutic strategy could be used to alter the passive/active targeting ability of the drug and gene carriers. However, the delivery of these newer agents is still a challenge, highlighting the necessity of additional research in this area.

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