Airway delivery of peptides and proteins using nanoparticles

Biomaterials. 2013 Jan;34(2):516-25. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.08.070. Epub 2012 Oct 6.


Delivery of peptides and proteins via the airways is one of the most exciting potential applications of nanomedicine. These macromolecules could be used for many therapeutic applications, however due to their poor stability in physiological medium and difficulties in delivering them across biological barriers, they are very difficult to use in therapy. Nanoparticulate drug delivery systems have emerged as one of the most promising technologies to overcome these limitations, owing mainly to their proven capacity to cross biological barriers and to enter cells in high yields, thus improving delivery of macromolecules. In this review, we summarize the current advances in nanoparticle designed for transmucosal delivery of peptides and proteins. Challenges that must be overcome in order to derive clinical benefits are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Administration Routes
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Peptides / administration & dosage*
  • Proteins / administration & dosage*


  • Peptides
  • Proteins