Review of contemporary self-assembled systems for the controlled delivery of therapeutics in medicine

Laura L. Osorno, Alyssa N. Brandley, Daniel E. Maldonado, Alex Yiantsos, Robert J. Mosley, Mark E. Byrne

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    The novel and unique design of self-assembled micro and nanostructures can be tai-lored and controlled through the deep understanding of the self-assembly behavior of amphiphilic molecules. The most commonly known amphiphilic molecules are surfactants, phospholipids, and block copolymers. These molecules present a dual attraction in aqueous solutions that lead to the formation of structures like micelles, hydrogels, and liposomes. These structures can respond to external stimuli and can be further modified making them ideal for specific, targeted medical needs and localized drug delivery treatments. Biodegradability, biocompatibility, drug protection, drug bioavailability, and improved patient compliance are among the most important benefits of these self-assembled structures for drug delivery purposes. Furthermore, there are numerous FDA-approved biomaterials with self-assembling properties that can help shorten the approval pathway of efficient platforms, allowing them to reach the therapeutic market faster. This review focuses on pro-viding a thorough description of the current use of self-assembled micelles, hydrogels, and vesicles (polymersomes/liposomes) for the extended and controlled release of therapeutics, with relevant medical applications. FDA-approved polymers, as well as clinically and commercially available nanoplatforms, are described throughout the paper.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number278
    Pages (from-to)1-28
    Number of pages28
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Feb 2021

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemical Engineering(all)
    • Materials Science(all)


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