Pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of nanoparticles

Mol Pharm. Jul-Aug 2008;5(4):496-504. doi: 10.1021/mp800049w. Epub 2008 Jul 9.


Nanoparticles show their promise for improving the efficacy of drugs with a narrow therapeutic window or low bioavailability, such as anticancer drugs and nucleic acid-based drugs. The pharmacokinetics (PK) and tissue distribution of the nanoparticles largely define their therapeutic effect and toxicity. Chemical and physical properties of the nanoparticles, including size, surface charge, and surface chemistry, are important factors that determine their PK and biodistribution. The intracellular fate of the nanoparticles after cellular internalization that affects the drug bioavailability is also discussed. Strategies for overcoming barriers for intracellular delivery and drug release are presented. Finally, future directions for improving the PK of nanoparticles and perspectives in the field are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capsules
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Nanomedicine*
  • Nanoparticles / analysis*
  • Pharmacokinetics*
  • Surface Properties


  • Capsules
  • Ligands