Engineering Biodegradable Nanoparticles for Drug and Gene Delivery

March
2013

Engineered nanoparticles can deliver therapeutic agents to specifically targeted cells and then release those agents in a precisely controlled manner. Improved pharmacokinetic properties, reduced toxicity, and the ability to cross biological barriers are some of the key benefits of this approach.

NPs can carry therapeutic agents, such as small-molecule drugs, peptides, proteins, and genetic materials. They can improve the solubility, stability, circulation half-life, and biodistribution of a therapeutic agent encapsulated within them. NPs with targeting capability can deliver a therapeutic agent to specific tissues or cells and release the cargo in a sustained fashion, thereby reducing the agent’s systemic toxicity. NPs can also facilitate the passage of therapeutic agents through biological barriers, such as the blood-brain barrier (BBB).


 

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