Conventional drug delivery systems contain numerous limitations such as limited targeting, low therapeutic
indices, poor water solubility, and the induction of drug resistances. In order to overcome the drawbacks of
conventional pathway of drug delivery, nanoparticle delivery systems are therefore designed and used as the drug
carriers. Nanoparticle based drug delivery systems have been rapidly growing and are being applied to various
sections of biomedicine. Drug nanocarriers based on dendrimers, liposomes, self-assembling peptides, watersoluble
polymers, and block copolymer micelles are the most extensively studied types of drug delivery systems
and some of them are being used in clinical therapy. In particular for cancer therapy, antineoplastic drugs are
taking advantage of nanoparticulate drug carriers to improve the cure efficacy. Nanoparticle based drug carriers
are capable of improving the therapeutic effectiveness of the drugs by using active targeting for the site-specific
delivery, passive targeting mechanisms such as enhanced permeability and retention (EPR), de novo synthesis
and uptake of low density liposome in cancer cells or by being water-soluble to improve the suboptimal pharmacokinetics
in limited water-soluble delivery methods.
Keywords: Drug delivery, encapsulation, tumor targeted delivery, dendrimers, liposome, self-assembling peptides, water-soluble polymers,
block copolymer micelles.
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