Treatment of cancer has advanced considerably over the past decade aided by the development of more responsive and adaptable drug delivery techniques, as well as vast improvement in the technology for detection and diagnosis. The development of highly versatile and functionalisable nanoscaffolds has allowed the once separate fields of therapy and diagnostics to merge into the new multimodal field of theranostics. Hyperbranched polymers (HBPs) are multi-armed nanocarriers that allow for the attachment of a variety of therapeutic and imaging functionalities. In the pursuit of preparation of “smart” theranostic HBPs I am investigating the following:
- Diversity of heterobifunctional short-chained poly(ethylene glycol) linkers for permanent and biologically responsive cleavable imaging and therapeutic moieties.
- Targeted HBPs for delivery of radiotherapeutics.
- Responsive HBPs for selective delivery of chemotherapeutics.
- Switchable HBPs for quantifiable detection of delivered chemotherapeutic dose.