About this Research Topic
Nanomaterials can be defined as structures having minimum one dimension in the nano range. Nanopharmaceuticals are drug delivery systems of submicron size or with nanostructure, which can be formulated with or without carrier materials to polymeric nanoparticles, liposomes, solid lipid nanoparticles, dendrimers, various inorganic nanomaterials (e.g. quantum dots) or hybrid nanoparticles.
Nanotherapeutics can sometimes exert their curing effect more efficiently than traditional formulates of drugs via their small size and thus increased specific surface area. However, generally the nanopharmaceuticals alone do not provide prevention against side effects of active agents, hence it is a great challenge to target them to the site of action. The passive targeting due to enhanced permeability and retention (EPR effect) of nanomaterials might assist the accumulation of the drug in the tumorous tissues and the protection of the healthy cells.
Although active targeting must be more efficient to avoid the overdose and adverse drug reactions than passive targeting. Moreover, cancer cells are not the exclusive targets of nanomedicines, and considering other diseases, EPR effect of nanotherapeutics cannot be used, hence active targeting is necessary to make them more efficient. The physical properties of nanocarriers, such as size or surface charge, can help reach the target in the case of some organs. Stimuli responsiveness can be a form of targeting, while carrier-, adsorption- and receptor mediated transport of drug delivery devices are also important possibilities to transfer nanomaterials to the site of action. The surface of nanocarriers can be functionalized using specific ligands by physical attachment such as adsorption; however, surface modification via chemical conjugation is more stable.
This Research Topic primarily focuses on the functionalization of the nanocarriers with novel targeting ligands and new chemical attachment methods. The synthesis of novel carriers showing effective active targeting potential can also be included.
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