Introduction to in Vivo Targeting

  • Laura Chiarantini
  • Robert E. Droleskey
  • John R. DeLoach
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 326)


In the accompanying paper, we describe a method for targeting erythrocytes in vitro.1 Antibody mediated targeting of liposomes, microspheres, drugs, and drug conjugates has been demonstrated in many instances.2–12 Moreover, selective in vitro targeting of erythrocytes to collagen-coated surfaces and in vivo to fibrin clots has been shown by others.13–15 The development of carrier systems to specifically deliver toxic drugs to cancer cells has been a continuing effort in many laboratories. The choice of carrier system is dependent to some extent on the bias of the researcher. For many years our laboratory has utilized erythrocytes to encapsulate drugs for dissemination into animal systems.16–21 The so called carrier erythrocytes offer several unique advantages over other carriers; they have a large volume, are easily prepared, are natural and under normal circumstances circulate as well as normal erythrocytes. An advantage of carrier erythrocytes is that their final destination is the reticuloendothelial system (RES). In this instance, selective in vivo targeting of drug loaded carrier erythrocyte to liver and spleen and to lesser extent lungs has been demonstrated.22 Treatment of carrier-erythrocytes by methods to shorten its in vivo life span will naturally target these erythrocytes to cells within the RES. However, anatomical limitations would seem to restrict erythrocytes to the circulatory system. Yet other routes of injection such as subcutaneous or intraperitoneal can expose erythrocytes to the lymphatic system.23,25


Fibrin Clot Anatomical Limitation Scanning Electron Microscopy Sample Fresh Mouse Carrier Erythrocyte 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Chiarantini
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert E. Droleskey
    • 1
  • John R. DeLoach
    • 1
  1. 1.Food Animal Protection Research LaboratoryUSDA-ARSUSA
  2. 2.Istituto di Chimica Biologica “Giorgio Fornaini”Universita degli Studi di UrbinoUrbinoItaly

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