The identification of novel drug candidates for the treatment of diseases like cancer, infectious diseases, or allergies (especially asthma) assigns new tasks for pharmaceutical technology. With respect to drug delivery several problems occur such as low solubility and hence low bioavailability or restriction to inconvenient routes of administration. Nanotechnological approaches promise to circumvent some of these problems, therefore being well suited for future applications as nanomedicines. Furthermore, efficient and sufficient loading is a critical issue that is approached through mesoporous particles and/or through nonspherical particles both offering larger volumes and surfaces. Special interest is laid on the effect of shape of particulate materials on the body and related physiological mechanisms. The modified response of biological systems on different shapes opens a new dimension to adjust particle system interaction. Finally, the biological response to these systems will determine the fate with respect to their therapeutic value. Therefore, the interaction pattern between nonspherical particulate materials and biological systems as well as the production processes are highlighted. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2012, 4:52–65. doi: 10.1002/wnan.165
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