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Int J Nanomedicine. 2011;6:3281-93. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S27285. Epub 2011 Dec 9.

Nanomedicine as an emerging approach against intracellular pathogens.

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Biomaterials, Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Laboratory, Department of Orthopedics, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-9196, USA.


Diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS are caused by intracellular pathogens and are a major burden to the global medical community. Conventional treatments for these diseases typically consist of long-term therapy with a combination of drugs, which may lead to side effects and contribute to low patient compliance. The pathogens reside within intracellular compartments of the cell, which provide additional barriers to effective treatment. Therefore, there is a need for improved and more effective therapies for such intracellular diseases. This review will summarize, for the first time, the intracellular compartments in which pathogens can reside and discuss how nanomedicine has the potential to improve intracellular disease therapy by offering properties such as targeting, sustained drug release, and drug delivery to the pathogen's intracellular location. The characteristics of nanomedicine may prove advantageous in developing improved or alternative therapies for intracellular diseases.


drug delivery; infection; intracellular pathogen; nanomedicine; nanoparticle

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