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Keywords:

  • cancer therapy;
  • drug delivery;
  • imaging;
  • nanomaterials;
  • siRNA

Abstract

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A combined nanomaterials-based approach for simultaneous therapy and molecular imaging has powerful potential for efficient treatment and monitoring the prognosis of incurable diseases such as malignant tumors or degenerative diseases. Recent developments of hybrid polymeric nanomaterials for siRNA delivery and imaging are highlighted. A particular focus is on various conjugation and formulation strategies of how to incorporate siRNA and imaging agents onto the surface of functionally active polymer-coated inorganic nanomaterials such as iron oxide, gold, and quantum-dot nanoparticles for theranostic applications. These multifunctional nanocarriers may allow real-time tracking of siRNA as well as visualization of its therapeutic effects in vitro and in vivo.