Review Article

External triggering and triggered targeting strategies for drug delivery

  • Nature Reviews Materials 2, Article number: 17020 (2017)
  • doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.20
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Abstract

Drug delivery systems that are externally triggered to release drugs and/or target tissues hold considerable promise for improving the treatment of many diseases by minimizing nonspecific toxicity and enhancing the efficacy of therapy. These drug delivery systems are constructed from materials that are sensitive to a wide range of external stimuli, including light, ultrasound, electrical and magnetic fields, and specific molecules. The responsiveness conferred by these materials allows the release of therapeutics to be triggered on demand and remotely by a physician or patient. In this Review, we describe the rationales for such systems and the types of stimuli that can be deployed, and provide an outlook for the field.

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Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH R01 GM 116920).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Laboratory for Biomaterials and Drug Delivery, Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    • Yanfei Wang
    •  & Daniel S. Kohane

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Daniel S. Kohane.