- Zhao, Zhong and Wang, Jun and Mao, Hai-Quan and Leong, Kam W., Polyphosphoesters in drug and gene delivery,
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 55 no. 4
pp. 483 - 499 [S0169-409X(03)00040-1] .
(last updated on 2007/04/13)
Polymers with repeating phosphoester bonds in the backbone are structurally versatile, and biodegradable through hydrolysis, and possibly enzymatic digestion at the phosphoester linkages under physiological conditions. These biodegradable polyphosphoesters are appealing for biological and pharmaceutical applications because of their potential biocompatibility and similarity to bio-macromolecules such as nucleic acids. In the first part of this review, we will focus on one particular structure synthesized by extending oligomeric lactide prepolymers with ethylphosphate groups. This amorphous to semi-crystalline polymer is promising in delivering anti-cancer therapeutics in the form of microspheres. In the second half, we will discuss the conjugation of charged groups to the side chain of the phosphate, constituting one of the few biodegradable cationic polymers in the field for non-viral gene delivery. Capable of delivering exogenous genes to a cell nucleus or providing an extracellular sustained release of DNA, these cationic polyphosphoesters also serve as a valuable model to understand the important characteristics that render a polymer an effective gene carrier. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.