Traditional methods of drug delivery present several drawbacks, mainly due to off-target effects that may
originate severe side and toxic effect to healthy tissues. Parallel to the development of novel more effective drugs,
particular effort has been dedicated to develop and optimize drug delivery vehicles capable of specifically targeting the
required tissue/organ and to deliver the cargo only where and when it is needed. New drug delivery systems based on
nanoscale devices showing new and improved pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics properties like enhanced
bioavailability, high drug loading or systemic stability have surged in the past decade as promising solutions to the
required therapeutic efficacy. Amongst these nanoscale vectors, nanoparticles for drug delivery, such as polymeric, lipidbased,
ceramic or metallic nanoparticles, have been at the forefront of pharmaceutical development. The interest in
nanomedicine for treatment and diagnosis is clearly reflected on the increasing number of publications and issued patents
every year. Here, we provide a broad overview of novel nanoparticle based drug delivery systems, ranging from
polymeric systems to metal nanoparticles, while simultaneously listing the most relevant related patents.
Keywords: Cancer, drug carriers, drug delivery, drug targeting, nanomedicine, nanoparticles, nanotechnology, patents.
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