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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2011 Sep 10;63(10-11):901-8. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2011.05.017. Epub 2011 Jun 25.

Lymphatic drug delivery using engineered liposomes and solid lipid nanoparticles.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kansas, USA.


The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in the immune system's recognition and response to disease, and most solid cancers initially spread from the primary site via the tumor's surrounding lymphatics before hematological dissemination. Hence, the lymphatic system is an important target for developing new vaccines, cancer treatments, and diagnostic agents. Targeting the lymphatic system by subcutaneous, intestinal, and pulmonary routes has been evaluated and subsequently utilized to improve lymphatic penetration and retention of drug molecules, reduce drug-related systemic toxicities, and enhance bioavailability of poorly soluble and unstable drugs. Lymphatic imaging is an essential tool for the detection and staging of cancer. New nano-based technologies offer improved detection and characterization of the nodal diseases, while new delivery devices can better target and confine treatments to tumors within the nodal space while sparing healthy tissues. This manuscript reviews recent advances in the field of lymphatic drug delivery and imaging and focuses specifically on the development of liposomes and solid lipid nanoparticles for lymphatic introduction via the subcutaneous, intestinal, and pulmonary routes.

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