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Silk nanoparticles—an emerging anticancer nanomedicine

1 Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0RE, UK
2 Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden, Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden, Hohe Strasse 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany

Topical Section: Drug delivery

Silk is a sustainable and ecologically friendly biopolymer with a robust clinical track record in humans for load bearing applications, in part due to its excellent mechanical properties and biocompatibility. Our ability to take bottom-up and top-down approaches for the generation of silk (inspired) biopolymers has been critical in supporting the evolution of silk materials and formats, including silk nanoparticles for drug delivery. Silk nanoparticles are emerging as interesting contenders for drug delivery and are well placed to advance the nanomedicine field. This review covers the use of Bombyx mori and recombinant silks as an anticancer nanomedicine, highlighting the emerging trends and developments as well as critically assessing the current opportunities and challenges by providing a context specific assessment of this multidisciplinary field.
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