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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2008 Jan 14;60(2):286-95. Epub 2007 Oct 5.

Cell-based drug delivery.

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Institute of Biological Chemistry Giorgio Fornaini, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy.


Drug delivery has been greatly improved over the years by means of chemical and physical agents that increase bioavailability, improve pharmacokinetic and reduce toxicities. At the same time, cell based delivery systems have also been developed. These possesses a number of advantages including prolonged delivery times, targeting of drugs to specialized cell compartments and biocompatibility. Here we'll focus on erythrocyte-based drug delivery. These systems are especially efficient in releasing drugs in circulations for weeks, have a large capacity, can be easily processed and could accommodate traditional and biologic drugs. These carriers have also been used for delivering antigens and/or contrasting agents. Carrier erythrocytes have been evaluated in thousands of drug administration in humans proving safety and efficacy of the treatments. Erythrocyte-based delivery of new and conventional drugs is thus experiencing increasing interests in drug delivery and in managing complex pathologies especially when side effects could become serious issues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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