Alterations in Cellular Processes Involving Vesicular Trafficking and Implications in Drug Delivery

Biomimetics (Basel). 2018 Jul 24;3(3):19. doi: 10.3390/biomimetics3030019.


Endocytosis and vesicular trafficking are cellular processes that regulate numerous functions required to sustain life. From a translational perspective, they offer avenues to improve the access of therapeutic drugs across cellular barriers that separate body compartments and into diseased cells. However, the fact that many factors have the potential to alter these routes, impacting our ability to effectively exploit them, is often overlooked. Altered vesicular transport may arise from the molecular defects underlying the pathological syndrome which we aim to treat, the activity of the drugs being used, or side effects derived from the drug carriers employed. In addition, most cellular models currently available do not properly reflect key physiological parameters of the biological environment in the body, hindering translational progress. This article offers a critical overview of these topics, discussing current achievements, limitations and future perspectives on the use of vesicular transport for drug delivery applications.

Keywords: cellular vesicles; disease effects on vesicular trafficking; drug delivery systems and nanomedicines; drug effects on vesicular trafficking; fission and intracellular trafficking; role of the biological environment; transcytosis and endocytosis of drugs carriers; vesicle fusion.

Publication types

  • Review