The integration of lipoprotein-related or apolipoprotein-targeted nanoparticles as pharmaceutical
carriers opens new therapeutic and diagnostic avenues in nanomedicine. The concept is to exploit
the intrinsic characteristics of lipoprotein particles as being the natural transporter of apolar lipids
and fat in human circulation. Discrete lipoprotein assemblies and lipoprotein-based biomimetics offer a versatile nanoparticle
platform that can be manipulated and tuned for specific medical applications. This article reviews the possibilities for
constructing drug loaded, reconstituted or artificial lipoprotein particles. The advantages and limitations of lipoproteinbased
delivery systems are critically evaluated and potential future challenges, especially concerning targeting specificity,
concepts for lipoprotein rerouting and design of innovative lipoprotein mimetic particles using apolipoprotein sequences
as targeting moieties are discussed. Finally, the review highlights potential medical applications for lipoprotein-based
nanoparticle systems in the fields of cardiovascular research, cancer therapy, gene delivery and brain targeting focusing on
representative examples from literature.
Keywords: Apolipoproteins, artificial lipoproteins, high density lipoproteins, lipoprotein related nanoparticles, low
density lipoproteins, recombinant lipoproteins, reconstituted lipoproteins, synthetic lipoproteins.
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