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Targeted drug delivery across biological barriers using polymer nanoparticles

Gagliardi, Mariacristina and Bardi, Giuseppe and Gamucci, Olimpia and Mazzolai, Barbara Targeted drug delivery across biological barriers using polymer nanoparticles. In: Therapeutic Delivery Methods: A Concise Overview of Emerging Areas. Future Science, pp. 96-109. ISBN 978-1-909453-49-4 (2013)

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The systemic administration of pharmacological agents generally shows some important limitations related to the biodistribution of active agents in the body such as the lack of affinity of pharmaceuticals toward the site of pathology, the nonspecific therapeutic effects on health cells, the necessity to administrate large doses to obtain an efficient local concentration and the side effects arising after the administration of high drug doses. An emerging technology to overcome these limitations is represented by the targeted drug delivery, or rather, the development of medicaments able to control the delivery kinetics and, in addition, functionalized to hit specific sites thus reducing side effects and unwanted high doses. Drug targeting can be performed in two different ways: the first is the functionalization of drugs or the preparations of prodrugs but with the possibility to decrease the pharmacological activity of the active molecule; the second is based on the use of nanocarriers to entrap, protect and transport the active agent in the desired site. Nanocarriers can be obtained by inorganic (e.g., metallic) or organic materials; organic nanoparticulate systems can be prepared using natural (e.g., liposomes and polysaccharides) or synthetic (e.g., polymers) materials. Based on the desired functional properties of nanocarrier materials, the site of the pathology to treat and the entity of the disease, the correct choice of the material constituting the carrier is fundamental in its setup. This chapter will discuss the possibility of targeting a drug in some different body organs by using polymeric nanocarriers. Mechanisms of drug targeting will be explained and a list of smart polymer systems currently employed or under investigation is reported.

Item Type: Book Section
Identification Number: 10.4155/ebo.13.266
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Research Area: Computer Science and Applications
Depositing User: Caterina Tangheroni
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2016 12:40
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2016 12:40
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/3265

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