Dendrimers represent a class of novel polymers having unique molecular architectures characterized by their well-defined structure, with a high degree of molecular uniformity, low polydispersity and properties that make them attractive materials for the development of nanomedicines. The dendrimer drug delivery can be achieved by coupling a drug through one of two approaches. Hydrophobic drugs can be complexed within the hydrophobic dendrimer interior to make them water-soluble or drugs can be covalently coupled onto the surface of the dendrimer. In addition, dendrimers have been shown to be capable of bypassing efflux transporters. A new generation of dendrimer-based delivery systems will enable the efficient transport of drugs across cellular barriers. This review deals principally with the synthesis, characterization and recent applications of dendrimers. In future it will only ever be possible to designate a dendrimer as safe means of drug delivery related to a specific application. However, so far limited clinical experience using dendrimers makes it impossible to designate any particular system which is safe and non toxic. Although there is widespread concern as to the safety of nanosized particles, preclinical and clinical experience gained during the development of polymeric excipients, biomedical polymers and polymer therapeutics showed that judicious development of dendrimer chemistry for each specific application will ensure development of safe and important materials for biomedical and pharmaceutical use.