Nanotechnology has provided a means to generate new and more effective ways to deliver drugs into body. Nanoparticles as drug delivery system are a promising approach to obtain a drug formulation with pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties modified. Nanoparticles can be used for delivering drug in a site-specific, alleviating unwanted toxicity due to nonspecific distribution, increasing the extent of tissue-specific accumulation, improving patient compliance, and providing favorable clinical outcomes. Furthermore, the nanocarrier systems can increase the drug bioavailability, sustain drug/gene effect in the target tissue, solubilize drugs for intravascular delivery, and/or improve the stability of therapeutic agents against enzymatic degradation. However, the understanding about how the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles interact with biological systems is fundamental in order to help to design “smarter” nanostructures. The particle size, surface charge, surface modifications (e.g., targeting ligand and pegylation functionalization), and composition can influence the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of nanostructures, thus influencing in its efficacy. Particles with specific characteristics can exhibit long circulation time in the bloodstream due to delayed opsonization and increase the cellular uptake and organ accumulation, thereby enhancing the therapy effect.
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The author acknowledges the FAPESP, INOMAT (MCT/CNPq), NanoBioss (MCTI), and Brazilian Network of Nanotoxicology (MCT/CNPq).
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