Nanomedicine advancements have aided in the advancement of cancer diagnostic and treatment results. However, due to unique constraints such as non-targeted dispersion resulting in low signal-to-noise ratio for diagnostics, difficult production, reduced biocompatibility, decreased photo stability, and systemic toxicity of nanomaterials within the body, regular usage of nanomaterials remains hard. Better nanomaterial-systems with regulated physicochemical and biological characteristics are thus required (Ozer et al., 2008). Smart nanomaterials are a possible option in this area since they may be triggered by specific external or endogenous stimuli such as pH, temperature, enzymes, or a specific biological molecule. The features of smart nanomaterials make them great candidates for a variety of applications such as biosensors, controlled medication release, and disease therapy. Smart nanomaterial-based cancer theranostic procedures have recently been developed, and they show superior selectivity and sensitivity with fewer side effects than conventional methods. In cancer therapy, the smart nanomaterials-system only activates in reaction to the tumor microenvironment (TME) and stays inactive in normal cells, reducing side effects and systemic toxicity even more (Wahab et al., 2008). As a result, the purpose of this study is to discuss the stimulus-based classification of smart nanomaterials, tumor microenvironmentresponsive behavior, and their current applications in cancer theranostics. Furthermore, the current study discusses the advancement of several smart nanomaterials and their benefits in cancer diagnosis and treatment. We also talk about drug targeting and sustained drug release from nanocarriers, as well as the many types of nanomaterials that have been produced for this purpose (Kingsley et al., 2016).
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