Evidence-based approach to assess passive diffusion and carrier-mediated drug transport

Drug Discov Today. 2012 Aug;17(15-16):905-12. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2012.03.015. Epub 2012 Apr 4.


Evidence supporting the action of passive diffusion and carrier-mediated (CM) transport in drug bioavailability and disposition is discussed to refute the recently proposed theory that drug transport is CM-only and that new transporters will be discovered that possess transport characteristics ascribed to passive diffusion. Misconceptions and faulty speculations are addressed to provide reliable guidance on choosing appropriate tools for drug design and optimization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Diffusion
  • Drug Carriers
  • Humans
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Pharmacokinetics*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Drug Carriers
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations