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Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2018 Feb 13. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1511. [Epub ahead of print]

Precision engineering of targeted nanocarriers.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, New York.
Department of Experimental Pneumology and Allergology, Saarland University Faculty of Medicine, Homburg/Saar, Germany.


Since their introduction in 1980, the number of advanced targeted nanocarrier systems has grown considerably. Nanocarriers capable of targeting single receptors, multiple receptors, or multiple epitopes have all been used to enhance delivery efficiency and selectivity. Despite tremendous progress, preclinical studies and clinically translatable nanotechnology remain disconnected. The disconnect in targeting efficacy may stem from poorly-understood factors such as receptor clustering, spatial control of targeting ligands, ligand mobility, and ligand architecture. Further, the relationship between receptor distribution and ligand architecture remains elusive. Traditionally, targeted nanocarriers were engineered assuming a "static" target. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that receptor expression patterns change in response to external stimuli and disease progression. Here, we discuss how cutting-edge technologies will enable a better characterization of the spatiotemporal distribution of membrane receptors and their clustering. We further describe how this will enable the design of new nanocarriers that selectively target the site of disease. Ultimately, we explore how the precision engineering of targeted nanocarriers that adapt to receptor dynamics will have the potential to drive nanotechnology to the forefront of therapy and make targeted nanomedicine a clinical reality. This article is categorized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology Biology-Inspired Nanomaterials > Lipid-Based Structures Biology-Inspired Nanomaterials > Protein and Virus-Based Structures.


epitopes; multi-valency; receptor clustering; spatial control; targeted nanocarriers

[Available on 2019-08-13]

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