Strategies for the intracellular delivery of nanoparticles

Chem Soc Rev. 2011 Jan;40(1):233-45. doi: 10.1039/c0cs00003e. Epub 2010 Sep 30.


The ability to target contrast agents and therapeutics inside cells is becoming important as we strive to decipher the complex network of events that occur within living cells and design therapies that can modulate these processes. Nanotechnology researchers have generated a growing list of nanoparticles designed for such applications. These particles can be assembled from a variety of materials into desirable geometries and configurations and possess useful properties and functionalities. Undoubtedly, the effective delivery of these nanomaterials into cells will be critical to their applications. In this tutorial review, we discuss the fundamental challenges of delivering nanoparticles into cells and to the targeted organelles, and summarize strategies that have been developed to-date.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Particle Size
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / metabolism


  • Drug Carriers
  • Ligands
  • Peptides