PAMAM dendrimers as efficient drug and gene delivery nanosystems for cancer therapy

Fereydoon Abedi-Gaballu, Gholamreza Dehghan, Maryam Ghaffari, Reza Yekta, Soheil Abbaspour-Ravasjani, Behzad Baradaran, Jafar Ezzati Nazhad Dolatabadi, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

313 Citations (Scopus)


Drug delivery systems for cancer chemotherapy are employed to improve the effectiveness and decrease the side-effects of highly toxic drugs. Most chemotherapy agents have indiscriminate cytotoxicity that affects normal, as well as cancer cells. To overcome these problems, new more efficient nanosystems for drug delivery are increasingly being investigated. Polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers are an example of a versatile and reproducible type of nanocarrier that can be loaded with drugs, and modified by attaching target-specific ligands that recognize receptors that are over-expressed on cancer cells. PAMAM dendrimers with a high density of cationic charges display electrostatic interactions with nucleic acids (DNA, siRNA, miRNA, etc.), creating dendriplexes that can preserve the nucleic acids from degradation. Dendrimers are prepared by conducting several successive “generations” of synthetic reactions so their size can be easily controlled and they have good uniformity. Dendrimers are particularly well-suited to co-delivery applications (simultaneous delivery of drugs and/or genes). In the current review, we discuss dendrimer-based targeted delivery of drugs/genes and co-delivery systems mainly for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-190
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Materials Today
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Co-delivery
  • Gene delivery
  • Nanovehicles
  • PAMAM dendrimers
  • Targeted drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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