Since the first dendrimer was reported in 1978 by Fritz Vögtle, dendrimer research has grown exponentially, from synthesis to application in the past four decades. The distinct structure characteristics of dendrimers include nanoscopic size, multi-functionalized surface, high branching, cavernous interior, and so on, making dendrimers themselves ideal drug delivery vehicles. This mini review article provides a brief overview of dendrimer's history and properties and the latest developments of dendrimers as drug delivery systems. This review focuses on the latest progress in the applications of dendrimers as drug and gene carriers, including 1) active drug release strategies to dissociate drug/gene from dendrimer in response to stimuli; 2) size-adaptive and charge reversal dendrimer delivery systems that can better take advantage of the size and surface properties of dendrimer; 3) bulk and micro/nano dendrimer gel delivery systems. The recent advances in dendrimer formulations may lead to the generation of new drug and gene products and enable the development of novel combination therapies.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Juan Wang was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (Grant No. 20822041D4094, 1082204112665) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (52103177).

Keywords and Phrases

Dendrimer; Dendrimer Hydrogel; Drug Delivery; Microgel; Nanogel

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2022 The Authors, All rights reserved.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2022