Multifunctional nanoparticles for targeted delivery of immune activating and cancer therapeutic agents

J Control Release. 2013 Dec 28;172(3):1020-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2013.10.012. Epub 2013 Oct 17.


Nanoparticles (NPs) have been extensively investigated for applications in both experimental and clinical settings to improve delivery efficiency of therapeutic and diagnostic agents. Most recently, novel multifunctional nanoparticles have attracted much attention because of their ability to carry diverse functionalities to achieve effective synergistic therapeutic treatments. Multifunctional NPs have been designed to co-deliver multiple components, target the delivery of drugs by surface functionalization, and realize therapy and diagnosis simultaneously. In this review, various materials of diverse chemistries for fabricating multifunctional NPs with distinctive architectures are discussed and compared. Recent progress involving multifunctional NPs for immune activation, anticancer drug delivery, and synergistic theranostics is the focus of this review. Overall, this comprehensive review demonstrates that multifunctional NPs have distinctive properties that make them highly suitable for targeted therapeutic delivery in these areas.

Keywords: Anticancer drug delivery; Immune activation; Multifunctional; Nanoparticles; Theranostics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage*
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antineoplastic Agents