Updated on 2 May 2012
Nanoparticles as a drug delivery system enables unique approaches for cancer treatment. Over the last two decades, a large number of nanoparticle delivery systems have been developed for cancer therapy, including organic and inorganic materials.
Many liposomal, polymer drug conjugates are part of the technology offered in clinics, and an even greater number of nanoparticle platforms are currently in preclinical stages of development. Recently developed nanoparticles are demonstrating the potential sophistication of delivery systems by incorporating multifunctional capabilities and targeting strategies in an effort to increase efficacy of systems against the most difficult cancer challenges, including drug resistance and metastatic disease.
NanoBioMagnetics, a US-based drug delivery company, is working on directing magnetic nanoparticle carriers to the tumor site. These magnetically responsive particles can be vectored to the tumor cells.
A multi-stage nanovector platform has been developed by Italy-based Mauro Ferrari, a founder of biomedical nano and micro-technology, especially in its applications to drug delivery of siRNA and small-molecule drugs to target cancers. US-based Leonardo Biosystems is commercializing this technology.
Researchers from the University of Michigan have developed a unique multifunctional nanoparticle known as probes encapsulated by biologically localized embedding (PEBBLE), which can be used for targeting and destroying brain tumors and even destroy those cells, which are intractable otherwise.
This system uses a polymer coated drug along with a magnetic particle, which can vector the drug to the target site and also help in simultaneous imaging and tracking.