Shaping Cancer Nanomedicine: The Effect of Particle Shape on the in Vivo Journey of Nanoparticles

Nanomedicine (Lond). 2014 Jan;9(1):121-34. doi: 10.2217/nnm.13.191.


Recent advances in nanoparticle technology have enabled the fabrication of nanoparticle classes with unique sizes, shapes and materials, which in turn has facilitated major advancements in the field of nanomedicine. More specifically, in the last decade, nanoscientists have recognized that nanomedicine exhibits a highly engineerable nature that makes it a mainstream scientific discipline that is governed by its own distinctive principles in terms of interactions with cells and intravascular, transvascular and interstitial transport. This review focuses on the recent developments and understanding of the relationship between the shape of a nanoparticle and its navigation through different biological processes. It also seeks to illustrate that the shape of a nanoparticle can govern its in vivo journey and destination, dictating its biodistribution, intravascular and transvascular transport, and, ultimately, targeting of difficult to reach cancer sites.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nanomedicine*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Tissue Distribution