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Nanoscale 2019, 11(14), 6519-6532

Micro/nanomachines: what is needed for them to become a real force in cancer therapy?

Conventional drug delivery systems face several issues in medical applications, such as cyto/genotoxicity and off-targeting. These issues are particularly significant for cancer therapeutics because many of the currently used systems are toxic in their free form. Self-propelled autonomous micro/nanomachines offer promising alternative drug delivery systems based on high cargo loading, fast autonomous movement, precise targeting and the on-demand release of therapeutics in vivo. With this unique set of properties, it is not surprising that they are receiving considerable research attention. However, much less is reported about the drawbacks that hinder their systemic in vivo application. In this review, a biomedical perspective is used to assess micro/nanomotor-based anticancer drug delivery systems reported to date. Advantages along with present issues are highlighted and recommendations which need to be considered to develop an effective biocompatible micro/nanomotor-based delivery system for cancer therapy are discussed.

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