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Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. | doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2018.00177

Targeting inflammation with nanosized drug delivery platforms in cardiovascular diseases: immune cell modulation in atherosclerosis

  • 1NEST Laboratories, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy
  • 2Laboratory of Nanotechnology for Precision Medicine, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Technologia, Italy
  • 3Center for Nanotechnology Innovation (CNI) @NEST, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Technologia, Italy
  • 4Division of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine, Fondazione Toscana Gabriele Monasterio (CNR), Italy
  • 5Institute of Life Sciences, Scuola Sant'Anna di Studi Avanzati, Italy
  • 6CNR, Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica (IFC), Italy
  • 7NEST laboratories, Istituto Nanoscienze, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy

Atherosclerosis (AS) is a disorder of large and medium-sized arteries; it consists in the formation of lipid-rich plaques in the intima and inner media, whose pathophysiology is mostly driven by inflammation. Currently available intervention and therapies for treating atherosclerosis are not always completely effective; side effects associated with treatments, mainly derived by immunodepression for anti-inflammatory molecules, limit the systemic administration of these and other drugs. Given the high degree of freedom in the design of nanoconstructs, in the last decades researchers have put high effort in the development of nanoparticles (NPs) formulations specifically designed for either drug delivery, visualization of atherosclerotic plaques, or possibly the combination of both these and other functionalities. Here we will present the state of the art of these subjects, the knowledge of which is necessary to rationally address the use of NPs for prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment of AS. We will analyse the work that has been done on: a) understanding the role of the immune system and inflammation in cardiovascular diseases, b) the pathological and biochemical principles in atherosclerotic plaque formation, c) the latest advances in the use of NPs for the recognition and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, d) the cellular and animal models useful to study the interactions of NPs with the immune system cells.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis, Inflammatory diseases, Smart nanomaterials, Drug delivery, Nanomedicine, Imaging and Theranostics, immune cells, Cardiovascular Diseases

Received: 14 Oct 2018; Accepted: 06 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Gianni Ciofani, Politecnico di Torino, Italy

Reviewed by:

Stefano Leporatti, Istituto di Nanotecnologia (NANOTEC), Italy
Vincenzo Calcagno, Institut für Medizinische Physik und Biophysik, Universität Leipzig, Germany
Ciro Chiappini, King's College London, United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2018 Cervadoro, Palomba, Vergaro, Cecchi, Menichetti, Decuzzi, Emdin and Luin. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: MD, PhD. Stefano Luin, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, NEST Laboratories, Pisa, Italy, s.luin@sns.it