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Targeting and Intracellular Delivery of Drugs


  1. Ruth Duncan

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200500014

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Duncan, R. 2006. Targeting and Intracellular Delivery of Drugs. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Effective targeting of drugs (particularly macromolecular therapeutics such as proteins, peptides, and oligonucleotides) to diseased cells, and moreover to the precise intracellular compartment where they are required has proved difficult to achieve. While the last decade has seen a number of drug delivery systems incorporating low molecular weight drugs and proteins enter routine clinical use, inadequate delivery is the single most important factor limiting our ability to utilize molecular medicines to their full potential. The body has evolved a number of very efficient biological barriers to protect itself from the harmful effects of pathogens (bacteria, viruses) and foreign materials such as proteins. These include environmental interfaces such as the gastrointestinal tract and the skin, internal cellular barriers such as the endothelial lining of blood vessels (particularly the tight blood–brain barrier), immune surveillance, and not least the cell membrane and inherent compartmentation of intracellular organelles. The current challenge is to design innovative devices and technologies (including nanomedicines) that will help guide the therapeutic to its correct location of action (drug targeting) and ensure that pharmacological activity is maintained for an adequate duration (controlled release).


  • Angiogenesis;
  • Biomimetic Polymer;
  • Controlled Release;
  • Drug Targeting;
  • Dendrimer;
  • Endocytosis;
  • Endosomotropic;
  • Immunoconjugate;
  • Liposome;
  • Lysosomotropic;
  • Micelle;
  • Nanomedicines;
  • Nanoparticle;
  • Nanomedicine, the Discipline;
  • Polymer Therapeutics;
  • Polyplex