Magneto-electric nanocarriers for drug delivery: An overview
There is an increasing interest to develop new nanocarriers that are capable of controlled and targeted drug delivery. To satisfy this motivation, the body-temperature magneto-electric nanocarriers (ME-NCs) were developed in the form of multi-functional nanostructures possess unique coupling of both magnetic and electric properties at physiological condition. These novel nanocarriers achieve on-demand drug release in response to low-field external magnetic stimulation in an energy-efficient dissipation (heat)-free mechanism. This platform technology proved promising potential for the treatment of cancer, AIDS and for Parkinson's disease management via high efficiency noninvasive deep brain stimulation. However, these studies are limited to in vitro models and must be explored for clinical applications. Therefore, efforts should be accelerated to prove the therapeutic and diagnostic potentials of ME-NCs in in vivo models. Unfortunately, significant knowledge gaps still exist on a complete toxicological profile of these nanocarriers and intensive studies have to be performed. This mini-review explores the rationale of ME-NCs for controlling and site-specific drug release, mechanism of action, advantages over conventional magnetic nanocarriers, preparation methods, characterization techniques, therapeutic and diagnostic applications, toxicity assessment and future directions.
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