About this Research Topic
In recent years, nanosized materials have provided new hope for developing effective therapies for a variety of different diseases, allowing targeted administration of new and traditional drugs, thus increasing efficacy and limiting side effects. Research advances in nanotechnology have offered the possibility of altering the biodistribution of therapeutic agents, enhancing their accumulation in the pathological sites. Nanosized drug delivery systems generally focus on loading or conjugating bioactive molecules in biocompatible colloidal nanocarriers such as nanoparticles, polymer nanotherapeutics, liposomes, etc. Low molecular weight drugs, as well as complex macromolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins could be nanoencapsulated and released while maintaining their stability and efficacy. A major challenge in nanomedicine is to enhance drug transport across biological barriers, which generally prevents undesired access of molecules to sensitive organs, tissues, cells. Research progress has led to a fine control of key physicochemical characteristics of the nanocarriers, such as size, drug loading, surface properties and functionalization with targeting moieties, with the purpose of successfully overcoming these barriers and for an efficient site-specific delivery.
Hydrogels with nano-scale organizations have been widely investigated as smart drug delivery systems, particularly in tissue engineering, where controlled release of therapeutic factors may enhance the efficacy of tissue regeneration. Among their peculiar characteristics, these gels may act as efficient drug protectors, especially for peptides and proteins with limited half-life, and as targeted drug carriers with controlled delivery in situ.
In this Research Topic, we welcome the contribution of original research articles, as well as reviews on the field, aiming to provide an overview of the state of the art and to highlight recent discoveries and future prospects of these exciting nanomedicine areas. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
- Polymeric nanocarriers (micelles, nanoparticles, nanocapsules, polymer nanotherapeutics)
- Lipid-based nanocarriers (nanoparticles and liposomes)
- Drug nanoencapsulation
- Hydrogels for drug/biomolecule delivery
- Hydrogels with nano-scale organizations for tissue engineering
Keywords: Nanocarriers, nanotherapeutics, hydrogels, drug delivery, tissue engineering