Special Issue "Smart Polymer-Based Drug Delivery Systems in Cancer Therapy"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 1136

Special Issue Editor

1. Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Hail, Hail 81442, Saudi Arabia
2. Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44519, Egypt
Interests: nanoparticles; anticancer; cancer immunotherapy; drug delivery
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Chemotherapy is the most prevalent treatment strategy for treating cancer, which usually involves the use of small toxic chemicals that interact with DNA and induce cell death. Unfortunately, the lack of tumor tissue selectivity as well as the short circulation half-life of chemotherapeutic agents are usually associated with inadequate therapeutic efficacy and the development of severe off-target effects. Recently, many synthetic polymers have been adopted for the formulation of novel drug delivery systems. Their distinct physicochemical properties enable them to transport medications efficiently, selectively target cancer tissue, and regulate drug release. Significant efforts have been undertaken in recent years to build smart nanoplatforms, such as amphiphilic block copolymers, polymer-drug conjugates, and, in particular, pH- and redox-stimuli-responsive nanoparticles (NPs).

This Special Issue focuses on new trends in the preparation, characterization, and biological applications of nanocarriers based on smart polymers. We accept both original research papers and review articles on the development and implementation of smart polymer-based drug delivery systems in cancer therapy.

Dr. Amr S. Abu Lila
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • smart polymers
  • amphiphilic block copolymers
  • polymer-drug conjugates
  • pH- and redox-stimuli-responsive nanoparticles (NPs)
  • cancer therapy

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Tailoring of Novel Bile Salt Stabilized Vesicles for Enhanced Transdermal Delivery of Simvastatin: A New Therapeutic Approach against Inflammation
Polymers 2023, 15(3), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15030677 - 29 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 996
Simvastatin (SMV), a cholesterol-lowering agent, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Nevertheless, the oral use of SMV is linked with poor systemic bioavailability owing to its limited aqueous solubility and extensive first-pass metabolism. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of [...] Read more.
Simvastatin (SMV), a cholesterol-lowering agent, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Nevertheless, the oral use of SMV is linked with poor systemic bioavailability owing to its limited aqueous solubility and extensive first-pass metabolism. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of transdermal delivery of SMV using bile salt stabilized vesicles (bilosomes) for enhancing the anti-inflammatory potential of SMV. SMV-loaded bilosomes (SMV-BS) were prepared by the thin film hydration technique and optimized by 33 Box–Behnken design. The fabricated SMV-BS were assessed for vesicle size, entrapment efficiency (% EE) and cumulative drug release. The optimized formula was incorporated into HPMC gel and investigated for physical properties, ex vivo permeation, in vivo pharmacokinetic study and anti-inflammatory potential in inflamed paw edema rat model. The optimized SMV-BS showed vesicle size of 172.1 ± 8.1 nm and % EE of 89.2 ± 1.8%. In addition, encapsulating SMV within bilosomal vesicles remarkably sustained drug release over 12 h, compared to plain drug suspension. Furthermore, SMV-loaded bilosomal gel showed a three-fold enhancement in SMV transdermal flux, compared to plain drug suspension. Most importantly, the relative bioavailability of SMV-BS gel was ~2-fold and ~3-fold higher than those of oral SMV suspension and SMV gel, respectively. In carrageenan-induced paw edema model, SMV-BS gel induced a potent anti-inflammatory effect, as evidenced by a remarkable reduction in paw edema, which was comparable to that of the standard anti-inflammatory drug, indomethacin. Collectively, bilosomes might represent a plausible transdermal drug delivery system that could enhance the anti-inflammatory activity of SMV by boosting its skin permeation and its systemic bioavailability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Polymer-Based Drug Delivery Systems in Cancer Therapy)
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