“pH phoresis”: A new concept that can be used for improving drug delivery to tumor cells

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Abstract

We propose a new concept describing how nanoparticles composed of weak polybases (such as polyamines) would behave when they are exposed to a pH gradient; weak polybase-containing particles will tend to accumulate preferentially in low pH regions under a pH gradient environment. This phenomenon, which we term “pH phoresis”, may provide a useful mechanism for improving the delivery of drugs to cancer cells in solid tumor tissues.

Graphical abstract

Weak polybase-containing nanoparticles tend to accumulate in low pH regions under a pH gradient. This phenomenon, termed “pH phoresis”, provides a useful mechanism for improving drug delivery to cancer cells.

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