Background: Delivery of conventional small molecule drugs and currently evolving nucleic
acid-based therapeutics, such as small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and genes, and contrast agents for
high resolution imaging, to the target site of action is highly demanding to increase the therapeutic and
imaging efficacy while minimizing the off-target effects of the delivered molecules, as well as develop
novel therapeutic and imaging approaches.
Methods: We have undertaken a structured search for peer-reviewed research and review articles predominantly
indexed in PubMed focusing on the organic-inorganic hybrid nanoparticles with evidence of
their potent roles in intracellular delivery of therapeutic and imaging agents in different animal models.
Results: Organic-inorganic hybrid nanoparticles offer a number of advantages by combining the unique
properties of the organic and inorganic counterparts, thus improving the pharmacokinetic behavior and
targetability of drugs and contrast agents, and conferring the exclusive optical and magnetic properties
for both therapeutic and imaging purposes. Different polymers, lipids, dendrimers, peptides, cell membranes,
and small organic molecules are attached via covalent or non-covalent interactions with diverse
inorganic nanoparticles of gold, mesoporous silica, magnetic iron oxide, carbon nanotubes and quantum
dots for efficient drug delivery and imaging purposes.
Conclusion: We have thus highlighted here the progress made so far in utilizing different organicinorganic
hybrid nanoparticles for in vivo delivery of anti-cancer drugs, siRNA, genes and imaging
Keywords: Animal model, biocompatibility, cancer, carbon nanotubes and quantum dots, cell membranes, cytotoxicity, delivery,
dendrimers, drugs, gold, lipids, magnetic iron oxide, mesoporous silica, nanoparticles, organic-inorganic hybrid, peptides,
pharmacokinetics, plasmid, siRNA.
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