Redox-sensitive smart nanosystems for drug and gene delivery

Mahdi Karimi, Seyed M. Moosavi Basri, Manouchehr Vossoughi, Parvin S. Pakchin, Hamed Mirshekari, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Smart stimulus-responsive nanocarriers represent a rapidly growing class of drug-delivery systems for cancer and other diseases. Objective: The alterations of redox potential between the intracellular environment and the extracellular space have been widely utilized as a trigger for delivery of therapeutic agents by smart stimulus-responsive nanocarriers. We set out to review the scientific literature. Method: Published papers between 1980 and the present day were surveyed. Results: The advantages of redox-activated smart delivery of drugs, genes, and imaging agents include: the amplitude of the redox-responsive signal; the simple chemical features needed to trigger the activation process; and the relative simplicity of preparing these nanocarriers with an integrated redox-sensitive triggering element. Redox-sensitive nanovehicles are often sensitive to glutathione (GSH) as a regulator of cellular redox potential, which is a very important redox couple in mammalian cells. Other nanostructures can be designed to respond to oxidation, which may be useful for drug-delivery to sites with oxidative stress. Conclusion: Redox-responsive nanocarriers are a prominent member of the class of smart nanocarriers, and are expected to grow importance in coming years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2949-2959
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Organic Chemistry
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug delivery
  • Glutathione
  • Micelle
  • Nanocapsule
  • Nanogel
  • Polymersome
  • Redox-Sensitive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry


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