Polymeric Dendrimers as Nanocarrier Vectors for Neurotheranostics

Hengde Li, Shuai Zha*, Haolan Li, Haitao Liu, Ka Leung Wong*, Angelo H. All*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Dendrimers are polymers with well-defined 3D branched structures that are vastly utilized in various neurotheranostics and biomedical applications, particularly as nanocarrier vectors. Imaging agents can be loaded into dendrimers to improve the accuracy of diagnostic imaging processes. Likewise, combining pharmaceutical agents and anticancer drugs with dendrimers can enhance their solubility, biocompatibility, and efficiency. Practically, by modifying ligands on the surface of dendrimers, effective therapeutic and diagnostic platforms can be constructed and implemented for targeted delivery. Dendrimer-based nanocarriers also show great potential in gene delivery. Since enzymes can degrade genetic materials during their blood circulation, dendrimers exhibit promising packaging and delivery alternatives, particularly for central nervous system (CNS) treatments. The DNA and RNA encapsulated in dendrimers represented by polyamidoamine that are used for targeted brain delivery, via chemical-structural adjustments and appropriate generation, significantly improve the correlation between transfection efficiency and cytotoxicity. This article reports a comprehensive review of dendrimers’ structures, synthesis processes, and biological applications. Recent progress in diagnostic imaging processes and therapeutic applications for cancers and other CNS diseases are presented. Potential challenges and future directions in the development of dendrimers, which provide the theoretical basis for their broader applications in healthcare, are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2203629
Issue number45
Early online date9 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials

User-Defined Keywords

  • dendrimers
  • drug delivery
  • gene delivery
  • imaging agent carriers
  • neurotheranostics
  • nonviral vectors
  • polymers


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