Nanoparticles as drug delivery systems

Pharmacol Rep. 2012;64(5):1020-37. doi: 10.1016/s1734-1140(12)70901-5.


Controlled drug delivery systems (DDS) have several advantages compared to the traditional forms of drugs. A drug is transported to the place of action, hence, its influence on vital tissues and undesirable side effects can be minimized. Accumulation of therapeutic compounds in the target site increases and, consequently, the required doses of drugs are lower. This modern form of therapy is especially important when there is a discrepancy between the dose or the concentration of a drug and its therapeutic results or toxic effects. Cell-specific targeting can be accomplished by attaching drugs to specially designed carriers. Various nanostructures, including liposomes, polymers, dendrimers, silicon or carbon materials, and magnetic nanoparticles, have been tested as carriers in drug delivery systems. In this review, the aforementioned nanocarriers and their connections with drugs are analyzed. Special attention is paid to the functionalization of magnetic nanoparticles as carriers in DDS. Then, the advantages and disadvantages of using magnetic nanoparticles as DDS are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dendrimers / administration & dosage
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Magnetics
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage*
  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Silica Gel / administration & dosage


  • Dendrimers
  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • PAMAM Starburst
  • Silica Gel