Therapeutic synthetic polymers: a game of Russian roulette?

A.C. Hunter, S.M. Moghimi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Synthetic polymer-based drug-delivery systems have been applied in drug delivery for the past 50 years. So why are there so few examples of these macromolecules being used successfully in the clinic? It is our view that many products are failing because of a neglect of the fundamental science surrounding the architectural control of the molecules present, their behaviour following in vivo administration and host response. Adverse events following parenteral administration of approved synthetic polymer-based systems have resulted in unpredictable and fatal responses in a significant number of individuals. Acceptance of the importance of immunotoxicological factors in response to the presence of these macromolecules must be addressed if emergent technologies, such as polymer-based gene-delivery systems, are going to succeed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)998-1001
Number of pages4
JournalDrug Discovery Today
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002


  • drug delivery systems
  • synthetic polymers
  • cationic vectors
  • immunotoxicology
  • gene delivery


Dive into the research topics of 'Therapeutic synthetic polymers: a game of Russian roulette?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this