Selected Reviews in Biomaterials: Development, Applications and Challenges

A special issue of Journal of Functional Biomaterials (ISSN 2079-4983).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (22 September 2023) | Viewed by 40100

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Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, Università della Calabria, Edificio Polifunzionale, Arcavacata, 87036 Rende, CS, Italy
Interests: molecularly imprinted polymers; functional materials for biomedical applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, Rende, Italy
Interests: molecularly imprinted polymers; drug delivery; drug targeting; theranostics; functional polymers; stimuli-responsive polymers; biomaterials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomaterials science represents one of the most interesting and growing fields of current research. Biomaterials are natural or synthetic materials designed to interact with biological systems for different applications including treatment, improvement or replacement of biological functions and damaged tissues. Furthermore, they play a key role in the development of smart and advanced diagnostic tools and theranostic systems, which allow to combine diagnostic and therapeutic functions enabling both diagnosis and targeted therapy at the same time.

The development of safe and effective biomaterials requires to overcome challenges related to several factors, such as the in vivo biocompatibility, printability, biofabrication, suitable mechanical properties and the interface between biomaterials and tissues, which critically affects biomaterials performances.

In this context, this Special Issue will host reviews focusing on the design, development, fabrication, printing, and application of biomaterials with particular attention devoted to strategies aimed to overcome the challenges associated with their use.

Prof. Dr. Francesco Puoci
Dr. Ortensia Ilaria Parisi
Dr. Mahdi Bodaghi
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • biomaterials
  • biopolymers
  • biocompatibility
  • biodegradable biomaterials
  • drug delivery systems (DDS)
  • tissue engineering
  • wound healing
  • regenerative medicine
  • biosensors
  • diagnostic systems
  • bioprinting
  • biofabrication

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Review

24 pages, 1690 KiB  
Review
New Insights in Hydrogels for Periodontal Regeneration
by Mafalda S. Santos, Alexandra B. dos Santos and Marta S. Carvalho
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(11), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14110545 - 11 Nov 2023
Viewed by 2003
Abstract
Periodontitis is a destructive inflammatory disease characterized by microbial infection that damages the tissues supporting the tooth (alveolar bone, gingiva, periodontal ligament, and cementum), ultimately resulting in the loss of teeth. The ultimate goal of periodontal therapy is to achieve the regeneration of [...] Read more.
Periodontitis is a destructive inflammatory disease characterized by microbial infection that damages the tissues supporting the tooth (alveolar bone, gingiva, periodontal ligament, and cementum), ultimately resulting in the loss of teeth. The ultimate goal of periodontal therapy is to achieve the regeneration of all of the periodontal tissues. Thus, tissue engineering approaches have been evolving from simple membranes or grafts to more complex constructs. Hydrogels are highly hydrophilic polymeric networks with the ability to simulate the natural microenvironment of cells. In particular, hydrogels offer several advantages when compared to other forms of scaffolds, such as tissue mimicry and sustained drug delivery. Moreover, hydrogels can maintain a moist environment similar to the oral cavity. Hydrogels allow for precise placement and retention of regenerative materials at the defect site, minimizing the potential for off-target effects and ensuring that the treatment is focused on the specific defect site. As a mechanism of action, the sustained release of drugs presented by hydrogels allows for control of the disease by reducing the inflammation and attracting host cells to the defect site. Several therapeutic agents, such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and osteogenic drugs, have been loaded into hydrogels, presenting effective benefits in periodontal health and allowing for sustained drug release. This review discusses the causes and consequences of periodontal disease, as well as the advantages and limitations of current treatments applied in clinics. The main components of hydrogels for periodontal regeneration are discussed focusing on their different characteristics, outcomes, and strategies for drug delivery. Novel methods for the fabrication of hydrogels are highlighted, and clinical studies regarding the periodontal applications of hydrogels are reviewed. Finally, limitations in current research are discussed, and potential future directions are proposed. Full article
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36 pages, 3810 KiB  
Review
Natural and Synthetic Polymeric Biomaterials for Application in Wound Management
by Sabrina Prete, Marco Dattilo, Francesco Patitucci, Giuseppe Pezzi, Ortensia Ilaria Parisi and Francesco Puoci
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(9), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14090455 - 03 Sep 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2372
Abstract
Biomaterials are at the forefront of the future, finding a variety of applications in the biomedical field, especially in wound healing, thanks to their biocompatible and biodegradable properties. Wounds spontaneously try to heal through a series of interconnected processes involving several initiators and [...] Read more.
Biomaterials are at the forefront of the future, finding a variety of applications in the biomedical field, especially in wound healing, thanks to their biocompatible and biodegradable properties. Wounds spontaneously try to heal through a series of interconnected processes involving several initiators and mediators such as cytokines, macrophages, and fibroblasts. The combination of biopolymers with wound healing properties may provide opportunities to synthesize matrices that stimulate and trigger target cell responses crucial to the healing process. This review outlines the optimal management and care required for wound treatment with a special focus on biopolymers, drug-delivery systems, and nanotechnologies used for enhanced wound healing applications. Researchers have utilized a range of techniques to produce wound dressings, leading to products with different characteristics. Each method comes with its unique strengths and limitations, which are important to consider. The future trajectory in wound dressing advancement should prioritize economical and eco-friendly methodologies, along with improving the efficacy of constituent materials. The aim of this work is to give researchers the possibility to evaluate the proper materials for wound dressing preparation and to better understand the optimal synthesis conditions as well as the most effective bioactive molecules to load. Full article
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26 pages, 1623 KiB  
Review
Combinational System of Lipid-Based Nanocarriers and Biodegradable Polymers for Wound Healing: An Updated Review
by Bahareh Farasati Far, Mohammad Reza Naimi-Jamal, Meysam Sedaghat, Alireza Hoseini, Negar Mohammadi and Mahdi Bodaghi
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(2), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14020115 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2369
Abstract
Skin wounds have imposed serious socioeconomic burdens on healthcare providers and patients. There are just more than 25,000 burn injury-related deaths reported each year. Conventional treatments do not often allow the re-establishment of the function of affected regions and structures, resulting in dehydration [...] Read more.
Skin wounds have imposed serious socioeconomic burdens on healthcare providers and patients. There are just more than 25,000 burn injury-related deaths reported each year. Conventional treatments do not often allow the re-establishment of the function of affected regions and structures, resulting in dehydration and wound infections. Many nanocarriers, such as lipid-based systems or biobased and biodegradable polymers and their associated platforms, are favorable in wound healing due to their ability to promote cell adhesion and migration, thus improving wound healing and reducing scarring. Hence, many researchers have focused on developing new wound dressings based on such compounds with desirable effects. However, when applied in wound healing, some problems occur, such as the high cost of public health, novel treatments emphasizing reduced healthcare costs, and increasing quality of treatment outcomes. The integrated hybrid systems of lipid-based nanocarriers (LNCs) and polymer-based systems can be promising as the solution for the above problems in the wound healing process. Furthermore, novel drug delivery systems showed more effective release of therapeutic agents, suitable mimicking of the physiological environment, and improvement in the function of the single system. This review highlights recent advances in lipid-based systems and the role of lipid-based carriers and biodegradable polymers in wound healing. Full article
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22 pages, 3201 KiB  
Review
Combination of Enzymes with Materials to Give Them Antimicrobial Features: Modern Trends and Perspectives
by Elena Efremenko, Nikolay Stepanov, Aysel Aslanli, Ilya Lyagin, Olga Senko and Olga Maslova
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14020064 - 25 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1880
Abstract
Multidrug-resistant bacteria form serious problems in many areas, including medicine and the food industry. At the same time, great interest is shown in the transfer or enhancement of antimicrobial properties to various materials by modifying them with enzymes. The use of enzymes in [...] Read more.
Multidrug-resistant bacteria form serious problems in many areas, including medicine and the food industry. At the same time, great interest is shown in the transfer or enhancement of antimicrobial properties to various materials by modifying them with enzymes. The use of enzymes in biomaterials with antimicrobial properties is important because enzymes can be used as the main active components providing antimicrobial properties of functionalized composite biomaterials, or can serve as enhancers of the antimicrobial action of certain substances (antibiotics, antimicrobial peptides, metal nanoparticles, etc.) against cells of various microorganisms. Enzymes can simultaneously widen the spectrum of antimicrobial activity of biomaterials. This review presents the most promising enzymes recently used for the production of antibacterial materials, namely hydrolases and oxidoreductases. Computer modeling plays an important role in finding the most effective combinations between enzymes and antimicrobial compounds, revealing their possible interactions. The range of materials that can be functionalized using enzymes looks diverse. The physicochemical characteristics and functionalization methods of the materials have a significant impact on the activity of enzymes. In this context, fibrous materials are of particular interest. The purpose of this review is to analyze the current state of the art in this area. Full article
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22 pages, 979 KiB  
Review
Polysaccharide-Based Hydrogels and Their Application as Drug Delivery Systems in Cancer Treatment: A Review
by Marco Dattilo, Francesco Patitucci, Sabrina Prete, Ortensia Ilaria Parisi and Francesco Puoci
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14020055 - 19 Jan 2023
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 5367
Abstract
Hydrogels are three-dimensional crosslinked structures with physicochemical properties similar to the extracellular matrix (ECM). By changing the hydrogel’s material type, crosslinking, molecular weight, chemical surface, and functionalization, it is possible to mimic the mechanical properties of native tissues. Hydrogels are currently used in [...] Read more.
Hydrogels are three-dimensional crosslinked structures with physicochemical properties similar to the extracellular matrix (ECM). By changing the hydrogel’s material type, crosslinking, molecular weight, chemical surface, and functionalization, it is possible to mimic the mechanical properties of native tissues. Hydrogels are currently used in the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields for drug delivery systems, wound dressings, tissue engineering, and contact lenses. Lately, research has been focused on hydrogels from natural sources. Polysaccharides have drawn attention in recent years as a promising material for biological applications, due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, and excellent mechanical properties. Polysaccharide-based hydrogels can be used as drug delivery systems for the efficient release of various types of cancer therapeutics, enhancing the therapeutic efficacy and minimizing potential side effects. This review summarizes hydrogels’ classification, properties, and synthesis methods. Furthermore, it also covers several important natural polysaccharides (chitosan, alginate, hyaluronic acid, cellulose, and carrageenan) widely used as hydrogels for drug delivery and, in particular, their application in cancer treatment. Full article
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22 pages, 2061 KiB  
Review
Icariin: A Promising Natural Product in Biomedicine and Tissue Engineering
by Zahra Seyedi, Mohammad Sadegh Amiri, Vahideh Mohammadzadeh, Alireza Hashemzadeh, Aliakbar Haddad-Mashadrizeh, Mohammad Mashreghi, Mohsen Qayoomian, Mohammad Reza Hashemzadeh, Jesus Simal-Gandara and Mohammad Ehsan Taghavizadeh Yazdi
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14010044 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4246
Abstract
Among scaffolds used in tissue engineering, natural biomaterials such as plant-based materials show a crucial role in cellular function due to their biocompatibility and chemical indicators. Because of environmentally friendly behavior and safety, green methods are so important in designing scaffolds. A key [...] Read more.
Among scaffolds used in tissue engineering, natural biomaterials such as plant-based materials show a crucial role in cellular function due to their biocompatibility and chemical indicators. Because of environmentally friendly behavior and safety, green methods are so important in designing scaffolds. A key bioactive flavonoid of the Epimedium plant, Icariin (ICRN), has a broad range of applications in improving scaffolds as a constant and non-immunogenic material, and in stimulating the cell growth, differentiation of chondrocytes as well as differentiation of embryonic stem cells towards cardiomyocytes. Moreover, fusion of ICRN into the hydrogel scaffolds or chemical crosslinking can enhance the secretion of the collagen matrix and proteoglycan in bone and cartilage tissue engineering. To scrutinize, in various types of cancer cells, ICRN plays a decisive role through increasing cytochrome c secretion, Bax/Bcl2 ratio, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase as well as caspase stimulations. Surprisingly, ICRN can induce apoptosis, reduce viability and inhibit proliferation of cancer cells, and repress tumorigenesis as well as metastasis. Moreover, cancer cells no longer grow by halting the cell cycle at two checkpoints, G0/G1 and G2/M, through the inhibition of NF-κB by ICRN. Besides, improving nephrotoxicity occurring due to cisplatin and inhibiting multidrug resistance are the other applications of this biomaterial. Full article
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24 pages, 6361 KiB  
Review
Functional Two-Dimensional Materials for Bioelectronic Neural Interfacing
by Mohammad Karbalaei Akbari, Nasrin Siraj Lopa, Marina Shahriari, Aliasghar Najafzadehkhoee, Dušan Galusek and Serge Zhuiykov
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14010035 - 07 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5560
Abstract
Realizing the neurological information processing by analyzing the complex data transferring behavior of populations and individual neurons is one of the fast-growing fields of neuroscience and bioelectronic technologies. This field is anticipated to cover a wide range of advanced applications, including neural dynamic [...] Read more.
Realizing the neurological information processing by analyzing the complex data transferring behavior of populations and individual neurons is one of the fast-growing fields of neuroscience and bioelectronic technologies. This field is anticipated to cover a wide range of advanced applications, including neural dynamic monitoring, understanding the neurological disorders, human brain–machine communications and even ambitious mind-controlled prosthetic implant systems. To fulfill the requirements of high spatial and temporal resolution recording of neural activities, electrical, optical and biosensing technologies are combined to develop multifunctional bioelectronic and neuro-signal probes. Advanced two-dimensional (2D) layered materials such as graphene, graphene oxide, transition metal dichalcogenides and MXenes with their atomic-layer thickness and multifunctional capabilities show bio-stimulation and multiple sensing properties. These characteristics are beneficial factors for development of ultrathin-film electrodes for flexible neural interfacing with minimum invasive chronic interfaces to the brain cells and cortex. The combination of incredible properties of 2D nanostructure places them in a unique position, as the main materials of choice, for multifunctional reception of neural activities. The current review highlights the recent achievements in 2D-based bioelectronic systems for monitoring of biophysiological indicators and biosignals at neural interfaces. Full article
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37 pages, 6271 KiB  
Review
Gelatin and Bioactive Glass Composites for Tissue Engineering: A Review
by Maria E. V. Barreto, Rebeca P. Medeiros, Adam Shearer, Marcus V. L. Fook, Maziar Montazerian and John C. Mauro
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14010023 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4055
Abstract
Nano-/micron-sized bioactive glass (BG) particles are attractive candidates for both soft and hard tissue engineering. They can chemically bond to the host tissues, enhance new tissue formation, activate cell proliferation, stimulate the genetic expression of proteins, and trigger unique anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer [...] Read more.
Nano-/micron-sized bioactive glass (BG) particles are attractive candidates for both soft and hard tissue engineering. They can chemically bond to the host tissues, enhance new tissue formation, activate cell proliferation, stimulate the genetic expression of proteins, and trigger unique anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer functionalities. Recently, composites based on biopolymers and BG particles have been developed with various state-of-the-art techniques for tissue engineering. Gelatin, a semi-synthetic biopolymer, has attracted the attention of researchers because it is derived from the most abundant protein in the body, viz., collagen. It is a polymer that can be dissolved in water and processed to acquire different configurations, such as hydrogels, fibers, films, and scaffolds. Searching “bioactive glass gelatin” in the tile on Scopus renders 80 highly relevant articles published in the last ~10 years, which signifies the importance of such composites. First, this review addresses the basic concepts of soft and hard tissue engineering, including the healing mechanisms and limitations ahead. Then, current knowledge on gelatin/BG composites including composition, processing and properties is summarized and discussed both for soft and hard tissue applications. This review explores physical, chemical and mechanical features and ion-release effects of such composites concerning osteogenic and angiogenic responses in vivo and in vitro. Additionally, recent developments of BG/gelatin composites using 3D/4D printing for tissue engineering are presented. Finally, the perspectives and current challenges in developing desirable composites for the regeneration of different tissues are outlined. Full article
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13 pages, 1280 KiB  
Review
Bio-Inspired Smart Nanoparticles in Enhanced Cancer Theranostics and Targeted Drug Delivery
by Khushabu Gulia, Abija James, Sadanand Pandey, Kamal Dev, Deepak Kumar and Anuradha Sourirajan
J. Funct. Biomater. 2022, 13(4), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb13040207 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1983
Abstract
Globally, a significant portion of deaths are caused by cancer.Compared with traditional treatment, nanotechnology offers new therapeutic options for cancer due to its ability to selectively target and control drug release. Among the various routes of nanoparticle synthesis, plants have gained significant recognition. [...] Read more.
Globally, a significant portion of deaths are caused by cancer.Compared with traditional treatment, nanotechnology offers new therapeutic options for cancer due to its ability to selectively target and control drug release. Among the various routes of nanoparticle synthesis, plants have gained significant recognition. The tremendous potential of medicinal plants in anticancer treatments calls for a comprehensive review of existing studies on plant-based nanoparticles. The study examined various metallic nanoparticles obtained by green synthesis using medicinal plants. Plants contain biomolecules, secondary metabolites, and coenzymes that facilitate the reduction of metal ions into nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are believed to be potential antioxidants and cancer-fighting agents. This review aims at the futuristic intuitions of biosynthesis and applications of plant-based nanoparticles in cancer theranostics. Full article
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42 pages, 2861 KiB  
Review
Tissue-Engineered Models of the Human Brain: State-of-the-Art Analysis and Challenges
by Giulia Tarricone, Irene Carmagnola and Valeria Chiono
J. Funct. Biomater. 2022, 13(3), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb13030146 - 09 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4188
Abstract
Neurological disorders affect billions of people across the world, making the discovery of effective treatments an important challenge. The evaluation of drug efficacy is further complicated because of the lack of in vitro models able to reproduce the complexity of the human brain [...] Read more.
Neurological disorders affect billions of people across the world, making the discovery of effective treatments an important challenge. The evaluation of drug efficacy is further complicated because of the lack of in vitro models able to reproduce the complexity of the human brain structure and functions. Some limitations of 2D preclinical models of the human brain have been overcome by the use of 3D cultures such as cell spheroids, organoids and organs-on-chip. However, one of the most promising approaches for mimicking not only cell structure, but also brain architecture, is currently represented by tissue-engineered brain models. Both conventional (particularly electrospinning and salt leaching) and unconventional (particularly bioprinting) techniques have been exploited, making use of natural polymers or combinations between natural and synthetic polymers. Moreover, the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has allowed the co-culture of different human brain cells (neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia), helping towards approaching the central nervous system complexity. In this review article, we explain the importance of in vitro brain modeling, and present the main in vitro brain models developed to date, with a special focus on the most recent advancements in tissue-engineered brain models making use of iPSCs. Finally, we critically discuss achievements, main challenges and future perspectives. Full article
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30 pages, 1621 KiB  
Review
A Narrative Review on the Effectiveness of Bone Regeneration Procedures with OsteoBiol® Collagenated Porcine Grafts: The Translational Research Experience over 20 Years
by Tea Romasco, Margherita Tumedei, Francesco Inchingolo, Pamela Pignatelli, Lorenzo Montesani, Giovanna Iezzi, Morena Petrini, Adriano Piattelli and Natalia Di Pietro
J. Funct. Biomater. 2022, 13(3), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb13030121 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2016
Abstract
Over the years, several bone regeneration procedures have been proposed using natural (autografts, allografts, and xenografts) and synthetic (i.e., metals, ceramics, and polymers) bone grafts. In particular, numerous in vitro and human and animal in vivo studies have been focused on the discovery [...] Read more.
Over the years, several bone regeneration procedures have been proposed using natural (autografts, allografts, and xenografts) and synthetic (i.e., metals, ceramics, and polymers) bone grafts. In particular, numerous in vitro and human and animal in vivo studies have been focused on the discovery of innovative and suitable biomaterials for oral and maxillofacial applications in the treatment of severely atrophied jaws. On this basis, the main objective of the present narrative review was to investigate the efficacy of innovative collagenated porcine bone grafts (OsteoBiol®, Tecnoss®, Giaveno, Italy), designed to be as similar as possible to the autologous bone, in several bone regeneration procedures. The scientific publications were screened by means of electronic databases, such as PubMed, Scopus, and Embase, finally selecting only papers that dealt with bone substitutes and scaffolds for bone and soft tissue regeneration. A total of 201 papers have been detected, including in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies. The effectiveness of over 20 years of translational research demonstrated that these specific porcine bone substitutes are safe and able to improve the biological response and the predictability of the regenerative protocols for the treatment of alveolar and maxillofacial defects. Full article
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19 pages, 1255 KiB  
Review
Application of Biocompatible Drug Delivery Nanosystems for the Treatment of Naturally Occurring Cancer in Dogs
by Nicola Ambrosio, Silvia Voci, Agnese Gagliardi, Ernesto Palma, Massimo Fresta and Donato Cosco
J. Funct. Biomater. 2022, 13(3), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb13030116 - 07 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2675
Abstract
Background: Cancer is a common disease in dogs, with a growing incidence related to the age of the animal. Nanotechnology is being employed in the veterinary field in the same manner as in human therapy. Aim: This review focuses on the application of [...] Read more.
Background: Cancer is a common disease in dogs, with a growing incidence related to the age of the animal. Nanotechnology is being employed in the veterinary field in the same manner as in human therapy. Aim: This review focuses on the application of biocompatible nanocarriers for the treatment of canine cancer, paying attention to the experimental studies performed on dogs with spontaneously occurring cancer. Methods: The most important experimental investigations based on the use of lipid and non-lipid nanosystems proposed for the treatment of canine cancer, such as liposomes and polymeric nanoparticles containing doxorubicin, paclitaxel and cisplatin, are described and their in vivo fate and antitumor features discussed. Conclusions: Dogs affected by spontaneous cancers are useful models for evaluating the efficacy of drug delivery systems containing antitumor compounds. Full article
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