Multifunctional biomolecule nanostructures, including polysaccharides, nucleic acids, peptides and proteins, have attracted tremendous interest for biomedical applications due to their biocompatibility, supramolecular programmability, targeting ability, stimuli-responsiveness, as well as a wide range of intrinsic biological activities.
Herein, researchers firstly introduced the nanostructures’ major application and potential against the current challenges facing anti-cancer nanomedicine in aspects of targeted therapy, in vivo delivery, personalized material design and clinical translation.
Then, researchers summarized the unique advantages of each type of biomolecules in multifunctional nanomedicine design; systematically elaborated their design principles and construction methods. Researchers also discussed the biological basis and mechanisms for such nanostructures to achieve multifunctional features such as tumor targeting, controlled drug release, efficient in vivo transportation and vehicle as therapeutic;
Besides, researchers reviewed the recent advances in applying biomolecule nanostructures for chemotherapy, gene therapy, immunotherapy and combination therapy against cancer; and also highlighted the great potential of biomolecule-based nanostructures in the field of smart anti-cancer nanotherapeutic development.
Moreover, researchers discussed in detail the current limitations of these biomolecule nanostructures in terms of rational design, systematic characterization and accurate synthesis, providing a general summary of the main factors affecting the clinical translation of biomolecule-based anti-cancer nanostructures.
Finally, researchers predicted the future development of technologies for rational design and construction of biomolecule nanostructures, systematic monitoring and assessment of their in vivo behavior, as well as their possible application in early detection and treatment of tumor metastasis.
This article presents a comprehensive review on advances in multifunctional biomolecule nanostructures for cancer therapy, which helps to better understand the biological basis and mechanisms for such nanostructures to achieve multifunctional features.
This work was supported by the National Basic Research Plan of China, the National Key R&D Program of China, the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences CAS and the K. C. Wong Education Foundation.
Biomolecule nanostructure-based functionalities for cancer diagnosis and therapy (Image by Prof. NIE’s group)