Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 21–37

Colloidal drug carriers: achievements and perspectives

  • G. Barratt

DOI: 10.1007/s000180300002

Cite this article as:
Barratt, G. CMLS, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2003) 60: 21. doi:10.1007/s000180300002


Colloidal drug carriers such as liposomes and nanoparticles are able to modify the distribution of an associated substance. They can therefore be used to improve the therapeutic index of drugs by increasing their efficacy and/or reducing their toxicity. If these delivery systems are carefully designed with respect to the target and route of administration, they may provide one solution to some of the delivery problems posed by new classes of active molecules such as peptides, proteins, genes, and oligonucleotides. They may also extend the therapeutic potential of established drugs such as doxorubicin and amphotericin B. This article discusses the use of colloidal, particulate carrier systems (25 nm to 1 μm in diameter) in such applications. In particular, systems which show diminished uptake by mononuclear phagocytes are described. Specific targeting of carriers to particular tissues or cells is also considered.

Key words. Drug delivery; liposome; nanocapsule; nanoparticle; nanosphere; poly(ethylene glycol); polymer; targeting.

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Barratt
    • 1
  1. 1.UMR CNRS 8612, Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie, Pharmacotechnie et Biopharmacie, Faculté de Pharmacie Université de Paris XI, 5, rue Jean-Baptiste Clément, 92296 Châtenay-Malabry Cedex (France), Fax +33 1 46 61 93 34, e-mail: Gillian.Barratt@cep.u-psud.frFR