The dawning era of polymer therapeutics

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2003 May;2(5):347-60. doi: 10.1038/nrd1088.


As we enter the twenty-first century, research at the interface of polymer chemistry and the biomedical sciences has given rise to the first nano-sized (5-100 nm) polymer-based pharmaceuticals, the 'polymer therapeutics'. Polymer therapeutics include rationally designed macromolecular drugs, polymer-drug and polymer-protein conjugates, polymeric micelles containing covalently bound drug, and polyplexes for DNA delivery. The successful clinical application of polymer-protein conjugates, and promising clinical results arising from trials with polymer-anticancer-drug conjugates, bode well for the future design and development of the ever more sophisticated bio-nanotechnologies that are needed to realize the full potential of the post-genomic age.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Drug Design*
  • Micelles
  • Polymers / administration & dosage*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Micelles
  • Polymers