Microenvironmental Behaviour of Nanotheranostic Systems for Controlled Oxidative Stress and Cancer Treatment

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The development of smart, efficient and multifunctional material systems for diseases treatment are imperative to meet current and future health challenges. Nanomaterials with theranostic properties have offered a cost effective and efficient solution for disease treatment, particularly, metal/oxide based nanotheranostic systems already offering therapeutic and imaging capabilities for cancer treatment. Nanoparticles can selectively generate/scavenge ROS through intrinsic or external stimuli to augment/diminish oxidative stress. An efficient treatment requires higher oxidative stress/toxicity in malignant disease, with a minimal level in surrounding normal cells. The size, shape and surface properties of nanoparticles are critical parameters for achieving a theranostic function in the microenvironment. In the last decade, different strategies for the synthesis of biocompatible theranostic nanostructures have been introduced. The exhibition of therapeutics properties such as selective reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging, hyperthermia, antibacterial, antiviral, and imaging capabilities such as MRI, CT and fluorescence activity have been reported in a variety of developed nanosystems to combat cancer, neurodegenerative and emerging infectious diseases. In this review article, theranostic in vitro behaviour in relation to the size, shape and synthesis methods of widely researched and developed nanosystems (Au, Ag, MnOx, iron oxide, maghemite quantum flakes, La2O3−x, TaOx, cerium nanodots, ITO, MgO1−x) are presented. In particular, ROS-based properties of the nanostructures in the microenvironment for cancer therapy are discussed. The provided overview of the biological behaviour of reported metal-based nanostructures will help to conceptualise novel designs and synthesis strategies for the development of advanced nanotheranostic systems.

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University of Wollongong



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