Dendrimers are a highly branched type of nanoparticle that can target specific cells based on the molecular "hooks" on the ends of the polymers that make up their outer surface. There are two basic structural types: One is the globular structure with a central core from which polymer branches radiate; The second type has no central core and consists simply of a series of highly branched polymers.
There are many
In September 2006, Dendritic Nanotechnologies Inc. (DNT) announced funding of a project that marked the first time dendrimers would be used to both diagnose and treat cancer. The research involved using dendrimers combined with MRI to detect cancerous ovarian cells and then deliver cancer-fighting drugs directly to the targeted cells. Since then, several different laboratories have reported research using dendrimers to deliver different therapeutic agents to ovarian cells including biotin (a micronutrient) and siRNA.