Natural ingredient-based polymeric nanoparticles for cancer treatment

Ka Hong Wong, Aiping Lu , Xiaoyu Chen, Zhijun Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer is a global health challenge. There are drawbacks to conventional chemotherapy such as poor bioavailability, development of drug resistance and severe side effects. Novel drug delivery system may be an alternative to optimize therapeutic effects. When such systems consist of natural materials, they offer important advantages: they are usually highly biocompatible, biodegradable, nontoxic and nonimmunogenic. Furthermore, natural materials can be easily modified for conjugation with a wide range of therapeutic agents and targeting ligands, according to the therapeutic purpose. This article reviews different natural ingredients and their applications in drug delivery systems for cancer therapy. Firstly, an overview of the polysaccharides and protein-based polymers that have been extensively investigated for drug delivery are described. Secondly, recent advances in using various natural ingredient-based polymeric nanoparticles for cancer therapy are reviewed. The characteristics of these delivery systems are summarized, followed by a discussion of future development and clinical potential. This review aims to summarize current knowledge and provide a basis for developing effective tailor-made formulations for cancer therapy in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3620
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cancer therapy
  • Drug delivery system
  • Nanoparticles
  • Natural materials
  • Polymers


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