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J Med Signals Sens. 2019 Aug 29;9(3):181-189. doi: 10.4103/jmss.JMSS_53_18. eCollection 2019 Jul-Sep.

A Review of Controlled Drug Delivery Systems Based on Cells and Cell Membranes.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.
Department of Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering and Nanotechnology, School of Advanced Medical Technologies, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
Biosensor Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.


Novel drug delivery systems have ameliorated drugs' pharmacokinetics and declined undesired ramifications while led to a better patient compliance by extending the time of release. In fact, although there has been a multitude of encouraging achievements in controlled drug release, the application of micro- and nano-carriers is confronted with some challenges such as rapid clearance and inefficient targeting. In addition, since cell systems can be an appropriate alternative to micro- and nano-particles, they have been used as biological carriers. In general, features such as stable release into blood, slow clearance, efficient targeting, and high biocompatibility are the main properties of cells applied as drug carriers. Furthermore, some cells such as erythrocytes, leukocytes, stem cells, and platelets have been used as release systems. Hence, most common cells that were used as aforementioned release systems are going to be presented in this review article.


Drug delivery; erythrocytes; macrophages; platelets; stem cells

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