Lipid-polymer hybrid nanocarriers for delivering cancer therapeutics

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Cancer remained a major cause of death providing diversified challenges in terms of treatment including non-specific toxicity, chemoresistance and relapse. Nanotechnology- based delivery systems grabbed tremendous attention for delivering cancer therapeutics as they provide benefits including controlled drug release, improved biological half-life, reduced toxicity and targeted delivery. Majority of the nanocarriers consists of either a polymer or a lipid component along with other excipients to stabilize the colloidal system. Lipid-based systems provide advantages like better entrapment efficiency, scalability and low- cost raw materials, however, suffer from limitations including instability, a burst release of the drug, and limited surface functionalization. On the other hand, polymeric systems provide an excellent diversity of chemical modifications, stability, controlled release, however limited drug loading capacities and scale up limit their use. Hybrid nanocarriers consisting of lipid and polymer were able to overcome some of these disadvantages while retaining the advantages of both the systems. Designing a stable lipid-polymer hybrid system requires a thorough understanding of the material properties and their behavior in in vitro and in vivo environments. This review highlights the current status and future prospects of lipid-polymer hybrid systems with a particular focus on cancer nanotherapeutics.Graphical abstract

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