Hydrophobically modified glycol chitosan (hGC) conjugates spontaneously form self-assembled nanoparticles (NPs) in aqueous conditions, and glycol chitosan NPs (CNPs) have been extensively studied for the past few decades. For disease-specific theranostics, CNPs could be simply modified with imaging agents, and the hydrophobic domains of hGC are available for encapsulation of various drugs. Based on the excellent physiochemical and biological properties, CNPs have been investigated for multimodal imaging and target specific drug delivery. In particular, a recent application of CNPs has shown great potential as an efficient theranostic system because the CNPs could be utilized for a disease-specific theranostic delivery system of different imaging agents and therapeutics, simultaneously. Furthermore, various therapeutic agents including chemo-drugs, nucleotides, peptides, and photodynamic chemicals could be simply encapsulated into the CNPs through hydrophobic or charge-charge interactions. Under in vivo conditions, the encapsulated imaging agents and therapeutic drugs have been successfully delivered to targeted diseases. In this article, the overall research progress on CNPs is reviewed from early works. The current challenges of CNPs to overcome in theranostics are also discussed, and continuous studies would provide more opportunities for early diagnosis of diseases and personalized medicine.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea ( NRF-2013K1A1A2032346 and 2012K1A1A2A01056095 ) and Intramural Research Program (Global siRNA Carrier Initiative) of KIST .
- Glycol chitosan
- Targeted delivery