Syntheses of Polypeptides and Their Biomedical Application for Anti-Tumor Drug Delivery
Polypeptides have attracted considerable attention in recent decades due to their inherent biodegradability and biocompatibility. This mini-review focuses on various ways to synthesize polypeptides, as well as on their biomedical applications as anti-tumor drug carriers over the past five years. Various approaches to preparing polypeptides are summarized, including solid phase peptide synthesis, recombinant DNA techniques, and the polymerization of activated amino acid monomers. More details on the polymerization of specifically activated amino acid monomers, such as amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides (NCAs), amino acid N-thiocarboxyanhydrides (NTAs), and N-phenoxycarbonyl amino acids (NPCs), are introduced. Some stimuli-responsive polypeptide-based drug delivery systems that can undergo different transitions, including stability, surface, and size transition, to realize a better anti-tumor effect, are elaborated upon. Finally, the challenges and opportunities in this field are briefly discussed.