Nanotheranostics is to apply and further develop nanomedicine strategies for advanced theranostics. This review summarizes the various nanocarriers developed so far in the literature for nanotheranostics, which include polymer conjugations, dendrimers, micelles, liposomes, metal and inorganic nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, and nanoparticles of biodegradable polymers for sustained, controlled and targeted co-delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic agents for better theranostic effects with fewer side effects. The theranostic nanomedicine can achieve systemic circulation, evade host defenses and deliver the drug and diagnostic agents at the targeted site to diagnose and treat the disease at cellular and molecular level. The therapeutic and diagnostic agents are formulated in nanomedicine as a single theranostic platform, which can then be further conjugated to biological ligand for targeting. Nanotheranostics can also promote stimuli-responsive release, synergetic and combinatory therapy, siRNA co-delivery, multimodality therapies, oral delivery, delivery across the blood-brain barrier as well as escape from intracellular autophagy. The fruition of nanotheranostics will be able to provide personalized therapy with bright prognosis, which makes even the fatal diseases curable or at least treatable at the earliest stage.
Keywords: Cancer nanotechnology; Drug targeting; Molecular biomaterials; Molecular imaging; Oral chemotherapy; Pharmaceutical nanotechnology..