Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 28, Issue 7, pp 1500–1519

Designing Dendrimers for Drug Delivery and Imaging: Pharmacokinetic Considerations

Expert Review

DOI: 10.1007/s11095-010-0339-8

Cite this article as:
Wijagkanalan, W., Kawakami, S. & Hashida, M. Pharm Res (2011) 28: 1500. doi:10.1007/s11095-010-0339-8


Dendrimers have well-organized high branches with a layered architecture providing a series of versatile chemical modification for various purposes. Consequently, this dendrimer nanotechnology explores a new promising class of nanoscale carriers for therapeutic drugs and imaging reagents using passive and active targeting approaches. By controlling dendritic structures, the biological fate of dendrimer/dendrimer-based drugs can be significantly altered based on their intrinsic physicochemical properties, including the hydrophilicity of the unit molecules, particle size, surface charge, and modification. Accordingly, pharmacokinetic aspects play an important role in the design and development of dendrimer systems for successful in vivo application and clinical translation. This review focuses on the recent progress regarding dendritic architectures, structure-related toxicity, and critical factors affecting the pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of dendrimer/dendrimer-based drugs. A better understanding of the basic aspects of dendritic systems and their pharmacokinetics will help to develop a rationale for the design of dendrimers for the controlled delivery of drugs and imaging reagents for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.


biodistributiondendrimerdrug deliveryimagingpharmacokinetics

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Drug Delivery Research Graduate School of Pharmaceutical SciencesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)TokyoJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS)Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan