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Nanotheranostics. 2017 Oct 31;1(4):415-429. doi: 10.7150/ntno.21723. eCollection 2017.

Current Progress of Virus-mimicking Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery.

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The Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Osaka University, Osaka 567-0047, Japan.


Nanomedicines often involve the use of nanocarriers as a delivery system for drugs or genes for maximizing the therapeutic effect and/or minimizing the adverse effect. From drug administration to therapeutic activity, nanocarriers must evade the host's immune system, specifically and efficiently target and enter the cell, and release their payload into the cell cytoplasm by endosomal escape. These processes constitute the early infection stage of viruses. Viruses are a powerful natural nanomaterial for the efficient delivery of genetic information by sophisticated mechanisms. Over the past two decades, many virus-inspired nanocarriers have been generated to permit successful drug and gene delivery. In this review, we summarize the early infection machineries of viruses, of which the part has so far been utilized for delivery systems. Furthermore, we describe basics and applications of the bio-nanocapsule, which is a hepatitis B virus-mimicking nanoparticle harboring nearly all activities involved in the early infection machineries (i.e., stealth activity, targeting activity, cell entry activity, endosomal escaping activity).


bio-nanocapsule; biomimicking; endosomal escape; hepatitis B virus; membrane fusion; virus-inspired nanomedicine.

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Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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