Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 232–234 | Cite as

In Drug Delivery, Shape Does Matter

  • Samir Mitragotri

Design and engineering of novel carriers for drug delivery has long been an area of active research (1). Numerous studies have been reported on engineering carriers for encapsulation of drugs, release, biocompatibility, clearance, and targeting. Researchers have long sought to define key design parameters that govern the performance of drug delivery carriers. Two parameters in particular, size and surface chemistry have been extensively studied. Several general guidelines have been established to guide the selection of size and surface chemistry to achieve the desired response. For example, nanoparticles with diameters less than 100 nm are considered suitable for tumor targeting via leaky vasculature (2). On the other hand, large microspheres (d > 40 μm) have been used as embolizing agents. Various guiding principles have also been established for selection of surface chemistry. For example, immobilization of polyethylene glycol on particles has been shown to reduce protein adsorption...


  1. 1.
    R. C. Mundargi, V. R. Babu, V. Rangaswamy, P. Patel, and T. M. Aminabhavi. Nano/micro technologies for delivering macromolecular therapeutics using poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) and its derivatives. J. Control. Release. 125(3):193–209 (2008) doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2007.09.013.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    F. Alexis, E. Pridgen, L. K. Molnar, and O. C. Farokhzad. Factors affecting the clearance and biodistribution of polymeric nanoparticles. Mol. Pharm. 5(4):505–515 (2008) doi: 10.1021/mp800051m.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    R. Gref, Y. Minamitake, M. T. Peracchia, V. Trubetskoy, V. Torchilin, and R. Langer. Biodegradable long-circulating polymeric nanospheres. Science. 263(5153):1600–1603 (1994) doi: 10.1126/science.8128245.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    R. Pasqualini, and E. Ruoslahti. Organ targeting in vivo using phage display peptide libraries. Nature. 380(6572):364–366 (1996) doi: 10.1038/380364a0.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    F. Gu, L. Zhang, B. A. Teply, N. Mann, A. Wang, A. F. Radovic-Moreno, R. Langer, and O. C. Farokhzad. Precise engineering of targeted nanoparticles by using self-assembled biointegrated block copolymers. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 105(7):2586–2591 (2008) doi: 10.1073/pnas.0711714105.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    P. Decuzzi, and M. Ferrari. The adhesive strength of non-spherical particles mediated by specific interactions. Biomaterials. 27(30):5307–5314 (2006) doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2006.05.024.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    P. Decuzzi, and M. Ferrari. The receptor-mediated endocytosis of non-spherical particles. Biophys. J. 94:3790–3797 (2008).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Y. Geng, P. Dalhaimer, S. Cai, R. Tsai, M. Tewari, T. Minko, and D. E. Discher. Shape effects of filaments versus spherical particles in flow and drug delivery. Nat. Nanotechnol. 2:249–255 (2007) doi: 10.1038/nnano.2007.70.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    S. Muro, C. Garnacho, J. A. Champion, J. Leferovich, C. Gajewski, E. H. Schuchman, S. Mitragotri, and V. R. Muzykantov. Control of endothelial targeting and intracellular delivery of therapeutic enzymes by modulating the size and shape of ICAM-1-targeted carriers. Mol. Ther. 16(8):1450–1458 (2008) doi: 10.1038/mt.2008.127.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    J. A. Champion, and S. Mitragotri. Role of target geometry in phagocytosis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 103(13):4930–4934 (2006) doi: 10.1073/pnas.0600997103.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    S. E. Gratton, P. A. Ropp, P. D. Pohlhaus, J. C. Luft, V. J. Madden, M. E. Napier, and J. M. Desimone. The effect of particle design on cellular internalization pathways. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 105:11613–11618 (2008).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

Personalised recommendations