Recombinant protein-based polymers for advanced drug delivery
- Recombinant protein-based polymers for advanced drug delivery
- Jordan L. Frandsen; Hamid Ghandehari
- Issue Date
- Chemical society reviews
- VOL 41, NO 7, 2696-2706
- Advances in recombinant techniques have led to the development of genetically engineered
polymers with exquisite control over monomer sequence and polymer length. The ability to study
how precise structures correlate with function has provided opportunities for the utility of these
polymers in drug delivery. Chemically derived and developed methods of synthesis have yielded
many useful polymers for drug delivery to-date, including those currently used in patients.
However they have drawbacks, including limitations involved in statistical characterization of
conventional polymer synthetic techniques. Encoding at the genetic level and production of such
recombinant polymers in organisms allow for precise order and accuracy of amino acid residues
and production of monodisperse polymers with specific function and physicochemical properties.
Research into elastin-like, silk-like, and silk–elastinlike protein polymers for example has led to
the development of delivery systems based on natural motifs of structural proteins to take
advantage of their physicochemical properties. Additionally, protein based polymers on other
natural motifs and de novo designs are starting to produce promising constructs for drug and gene
delivery applications where precise control over structure promises correlation with function and
guides the development of new and improved constructs. Clinical applications based on
recombinant polymers for delivery of bioactive agents have not been realized at this point.
However lessons learned from fundamental research with these polymers can be used to guide
design of safe and effective systems for use in the clinic. This tutorial review summarizes progress
made in the design and utility of recombinant polymers in drug and gene delivery and discusses
challenges and future directions of such polymers for this purpose.
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