Challenges and opportunities in the advancement of nanomedicines

J Control Release. 2012 Dec 10;164(2):236-46. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2012.10.007. Epub 2012 Oct 12.


Nanomedicine-based approaches to cancer treatment face several challenges that differ from those encountered by conventional medicines during clinical development. A systematic exploration of these issues has led us to identify the following needs and opportunities for further development: (1) robust and general methods for the accurate characterization of nanoparticle size, shape, and composition; (2) scalable approaches for producing nanomedicines with optimized bioavailability and excretion profiles; (3) particle engineering for maintaining low levels of nonspecific cytotoxicity and sufficient stability during storage; (4) optimization of surface chemistries for maximum targeted delivery and minimum nonspecific adsorption; (5) practical methods for quantifying ligand density and distributions on multivalent nanocarriers; and (6) the design of multifunctional nanomedicines for novel combination therapies with supportable levels of bioaccumulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Animals
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Nanomedicine
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*


  • Drug Carriers