Thermosensitive liposomes for localized delivery and triggered release of chemotherapy

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Liposomes are a promising class of nanomedicine with the potential to provide site-specific chemotherapy, thus improving the quality of cancer patient care. First-generation liposomes have emerged as one of the first nanomedicines used clinically for localized delivery of chemotherapy. Second-generation liposomes, i.e. stimuli-responsive liposomes, have the potential to not only provide site-specific chemotherapy, but also triggered drug release and thus greater spatial and temporal control of therapy. Temperature-sensitive liposomes are an especially attractive option, as tumors can be heated in a controlled and predictable manner with external energy sources. Traditional thermosensitive liposomes are composed of lipids that undergo a gel-to-liquid phase transition at several degrees above physiological temperature. More recently, temperature-sensitization of liposomes has been demonstrated with the use of lysolipids and synthetic temperature-sensitive polymers. The design, drug release behavior, and clinical potential of various temperature-sensitive liposomes, as well as the various heating modalities used to trigger release, are discussed in this review.Graphical abstract

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