Intelligent, self-powered, drug delivery systems

Nanoscale. 2013 Feb 21;5(4):1273-83. doi: 10.1039/c2nr32600k.


Self-propelled nano/micromotors and pumps are considered to be next generation drug delivery systems since the carriers can either propel themselves ("motor"-based drug delivery) or be delivered ("pump"-based drug delivery) to the target in response to specific biomarkers. Recently, there has been significant advancement towards developing nano/microtransporters into proof-of-concept tools for biomedical applications. This review encompasses the progress made to date on the design of synthetic nano/micromotors and pumps with respect to transportation and delivery of cargo at specific locations. Looking ahead, it is possible to imagine a day when intelligent machines navigate through the human body and perform challenging tasks.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Drug Implants / administration & dosage
  • Drug Implants / chemistry*
  • Drug Therapy, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Infusion Pumps, Implantable*
  • Motion
  • Nanocapsules / administration & dosage
  • Nanocapsules / chemistry*
  • Nanotechnology / instrumentation*
  • Robotics / instrumentation*


  • Drug Implants
  • Nanocapsules