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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2014 Jun;73:140-61. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2014.05.004. Epub 2014 May 10.

Nanomedicines in the future of pediatric therapy.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Technion City, Haifa 32000, Israel. Electronic address:
Preclinical Therapeutics and Drug Delivery Research Program, Department of Oncology, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona, Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona 08950, Spain.


Nanotechnology has become a key tool to overcome the main (bio)pharmaceutical drawbacks of drugs and to enable their passive or active targeting to specific cells and tissues. Pediatric therapies usually rely on the previous clinical experience in adults. However, there exists scientific evidence that drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in children differ from those in adults. For example, the interaction of specific drugs with their target receptors undergoes changes over the maturation of the different organs and systems. A similar phenomenon is observed for toxicity and adverse effects. Thus, it is clear that the treatment of disease in children cannot be simplified to the direct adjustment of the dose to the body weight/surface. In this context, the implementation of innovative technologies (e.g., nanotechnology) in the pediatric population becomes extremely challenging. The present article overviews the different attempts to use nanotechnology to treat diseases in the pediatric population. Due to the relevance, though limited available literature on the matter, we initially describe from preliminary in vitro studies to preclinical and clinical trials aiming to treat pediatric infectious diseases and pediatric solid tumors by means of nanotechnology. Then, the perspectives of pediatric nanomedicine are discussed.


Cancer; HIV/AIDS; Malaria; Pediatric nanomedicine; Tuberculosis

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