Recent advances in nanomaterials for therapy and diagnosis for atherosclerosis

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2021 Mar:170:142-199. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2021.01.005. Epub 2021 Jan 9.


Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease driven by lipid accumulation in arteries, leading to narrowing and thrombosis. It affects the heart, brain, and peripheral vessels and is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. Researchers have strived to design nanomaterials of various functions, ranging from non-invasive imaging contrast agents, targeted therapeutic delivery systems to multifunctional nanoagents able to target, diagnose, and treat atherosclerosis. Therefore, this review aims to summarize recent progress (2017-now) in the development of nanomaterials and their applications to improve atherosclerosis diagnosis and therapy during the preclinical and clinical stages of the disease.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Clinical use; Imaging contrast agents; Nanomaterials; Theranostic agents; Therapeutic delivery system.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis* / diagnosis
  • Atherosclerosis* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Nanostructures* / chemistry
  • Nanostructures* / therapeutic use