Applications of elastin-like polypeptides in drug delivery.
Elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) are biopolymers inspired by human elastin. Their lower critical solution temperature phase transition behavior and biocompatibility make them useful materials for stimulus-responsive applications in biological environments. Due to their genetically encoded design and recombinant synthesis, the sequence and size of ELPs can be exactly defined. These design parameters control the structure and function of the ELP with a precision that is unmatched by synthetic polymers. Due to these attributes, ELPs have been used extensively for drug delivery in a variety of different embodiments-as soluble macromolecular carriers, self-assembled nanoparticles, cross-linked microparticles, or thermally coacervated depots. These ELP systems have been used to deliver biologic therapeutics, radionuclides, and small molecule drugs to a variety of anatomical sites for the treatment of diseases including cancer, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and neuroinflammation.
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