Recent Advancements in Mitochondria-Targeted Nanoparticle Drug Delivery for Cancer Therapy

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Xu, J.; Shamul, J.G.; Kwizera, E.A.; He, X. Recent Advancements in Mitochondria-Targeted Nanoparticle Drug Delivery for Cancer Therapy. Nanomaterials 2022, 12, 743.


Mitochondria are critical subcellular organelles that produce most of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as the energy source for most eukaryotic cells. Moreover, recent findings show that mitochondria are not only the “powerhouse” inside cells, but also excellent targets for inducing cell death via apoptosis that is mitochondria-centered. For several decades, cancer nanotherapeutics have been designed to specifically target mitochondria with several targeting moieties, and cause mitochondrial dysfunction via photodynamic, photothermal, or/and chemo therapies. These strategies have been shown to augment the killing of cancer cells in a tumor while reducing damage to its surrounding healthy tissues. Furthermore, mitochondria-targeting nanotechnologies have been demonstrated to be highly efficacious compared to non-mitochondria-targeting platforms both in vitro and in vivo for cancer therapies. Moreover, mitochondria-targeting nanotechnologies have been intelligently designed and tailored to the hypoxic and slightly acidic tumor microenvironment for improved cancer therapies. Collectively, mitochondria-targeting may be a promising strategy for the engineering of nanoparticles for drug delivery to combat cancer.