New perspectives in nanotherapeutics for chronic respiratory diseases

Biophys Rev. 2017 Oct;9(5):793-803. doi: 10.1007/s12551-017-0319-x. Epub 2017 Sep 15.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hundreds of millions of people of all ages and in all countries suffer from chronic respiratory diseases, with particular negative consequences such as poor health-related quality of life, impaired work productivity, and limitations in the activities of daily living. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, occupational lung diseases (such as silicosis), cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary arterial hypertension are the most common of these diseases, and none of them are curable with current therapies. The advent of nanotechnology holds great therapeutic promise for respiratory conditions, because non-viral vectors are able to overcome the mucus and lung remodeling barriers, increasing pharmacologic and therapeutic potency. It has been demonstrated that the extent of pulmonary nanoparticle uptake depends not only on the physical and chemical features of nanoparticles themselves, but also on the health status of the organism; thus, the huge diversity in nanotechnology could revolutionize medicine, but safety assessment is a challenging task. Within this context, the present review discusses some of the major new perspectives in nanotherapeutics for lung disease and highlights some of the most recent studies in the field.

Keywords: Lung diseases; Nanomedicine; Nanoparticles; Nanotherapy.