Polysaccharide-Based Theranostic Systems for Combined Imaging and Cancer Therapy: Recent Advances and Challenges

Aastha Gupta, Ankur Sood, Erwin Fuhrer, Kristina Djanashvili, Garima Agrawal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Designing novel systems for efficient cancer treatment and improving the quality of life for patients is a prime requirement in the healthcare sector. In this regard, theranostics have recently emerged as a unique platform, which combines the benefits of both diagnosis and therapeutics delivery. Theranostics have the desired contrast agent and the drugs combined in a single carrier, thus providing the opportunity for real-time imaging to monitor the therapy results. This helps in reducing the hazards related to treatment overdose or underdose and gives the possibility of personalized therapy. Polysaccharides, as natural biomolecules, have been widely explored to develop theranostics, as they act as a matrix for simultaneously loading both contrast agents and drugs for their utility in drug delivery and imaging. Additionally, their remarkable physicochemical attributes (biodegradability, satisfactory safety profile, abundance, and diversity in functionality and charge) can be tuned via postmodification, which offers numerous possibilities to develop theranostics with desired characteristics. Hence, we provide an overview of recent advances in polysaccharide matrix-based theranostics for drug delivery combined with magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, positron emission tomography, single photon emission computed tomography, and ultrasound imaging. Herein, we also summarize the toxicity assessment of polysaccharides, associated contrast agents, and nanotoxicity along with the challenges and future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2281-2306
Number of pages26
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Contrast agent
  • Drug delivery
  • Imaging
  • Polysaccharides
  • Theranostics
  • Toxicity


Dive into the research topics of 'Polysaccharide-Based Theranostic Systems for Combined Imaging and Cancer Therapy: Recent Advances and Challenges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this