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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2010 Mar 18;62(4-5):518-31. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2009.11.021. Epub 2009 Nov 24.

Surface modifications of nanocarriers for effective intracellular delivery of anti-HIV drugs.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.


A variety of nanocarriers such as bioconjugates, dendrimers, liposomes, and nanoparticles have been widely evaluated as potential targeted drug delivery systems. Passive targeting of nanoscale carriers is based on a size-flow-filtration phenomenon that is usually limited to tumors, the reticular endothelial system, and possibly lymph nodes (LNs). In fact, targeting the delivery of drugs to pivotal physiological sites such as the lymph nodes has emerged as a promising strategy in treating HIV disease. Ligands for specific cell surface receptors can be displayed on nanocarriers in order to achieve active targeting. The approach has been extensively used preclinically in cancer where certain receptors are over-expressed at various stages of the disease. Unfortunately, markers of HIV infection are lacking and latently infected cells do not show any signs of infection on their surface. However, the disease naturally targets only a few cell types. The HIV receptor CD4, coreceptors (CCR5 and CXCR4), and some receptors relatively specific for macrophages provide potentially valuable surface targets for drug delivery to all susceptible cells in patients infected by HIV. This review focuses on nanoscale targeting with an emphasis on surface modifications of drug delivery nanocarriers for active targeting. A number of related issues, including HIV biology, targets, pharmacokinetics, and intracellular fate as well as literature-cited examples of emerging surface-modified targeted carrier systems are discussed.

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