Skip to main content

Nanotechnology: from In Vivo Imaging System to Controlled Drug Delivery


Science and technology have always been the vitals of human’s struggle, utilized exclusively for the development of novel tools and products, ranging from micro- to nanosize. Nanotechnology has gained significant attention due to its extensive applications in biomedicine, particularly related to bio imaging and drug delivery. Various nanodevices and nanomaterials have been developed for the diagnosis and treatment of different diseases. Herein, we have described two primary aspects of the nanomedicine, i.e., in vivo imaging and drug delivery, highlighting the recent advancements and future explorations. Tremendous advancements in the nanotechnology tools for the imaging, particularly of the cancer cells, have recently been observed. Nanoparticles offer a suitable medium to carryout molecular level modifications including the site-specific imaging and targeting. Invention of radionuclides, quantum dots, magnetic nanoparticles, and carbon nanotubes and use of gold nanoparticles in biosensors have revolutionized the field of imaging, resulting in easy understanding of the pathophysiology of disease, improved ability to diagnose and enhanced therapeutic delivery. This high specificity and selectivity of the nanomedicine is important, and thus, the recent advancements in this field need to be understood for a better today and a more prosperous future.



As a matter of fact, nanotechnology is making progress through all imperative fields of engineering and science, and scientists are revolutionizing all the industries and human lives by designing things capable of working on the smallest scale length, atom by atom [1]. Nanotechnology involves the study of eminently small structures. Nanotechnology can be defined comprehensively as the study, creation, design, synthesis, and implementation of functional materials, systems, and devices through controlling matter within the size range of 1–100 nm at the nanometer scale. Moreover, the manipulation of innovative phenomena and improved properties of matter at this nanometer scale, also referred as molecular nanotechnology, is a magical point on scale length where smallest man-made appliances encounter the molecules and atoms of the universe [2,3,4].

The early inception of the concept of nanotechnology and nanomedicine sprang from the discerning idea of Feynman that tiny nanorobots and related devices could be developed, fabricated, and introduced into the human body to repair cells at molecular level. Although later in the 1980s and 1990s, this innovative concept was advocated in the famous writings of Drexler [5, 6], and in 1990s and 2000s in the popular writings of Freitas [7, 8]. Feynman offered the first known proposal for a nanomedical procedure to cure heart disease. In general, miniaturization of medical tools will provide more accurate, controllable, reliable, versatile, cost-effective, and quick approaches for improved quality of human life [9]. In 2000, for the very first time, National Nanotechnology Initiative was launched; then from onwards, modeling of electronics and molecular structures of new materials, establishment of nanoscale photonic and electronic devices [10, 11], development of 3D networking, nanorobotics [12], and advent of multi-frequency force microscopy [13] have paved the way for emergence of molecular nanotechnology.

Nanoparticles are considered as the essential building blocks of nanotechnology. Presence of strong chemical bonds, extensive delocalization of valence electrons varying with size, and structural modifications in nanoparticles lead to different physical and chemical properties including melting points, optical properties, magnetic properties, specific heats, and surface reactivity. These ultrafine nanoparticles exhibit completely new and improved properties as compared to their bulk counterpart due to variation in specific characteristics such as size, distribution, and of the particles which give rise to larger surface area to volume ratio [14,15,16]. As the field of nanostructured materials has been evolved, many different labels and terminologies are being used including 3D nanoparticle, nanocrystals, nanofilms, nanotubes, nanowires, and quantum dots with promising potential of infinite number of properties [17]. Because of the variety of potential applications (including industrial and military), governments have invested billions of dollars in nanotechnology research. The USA has invested 3.7 billion dollars through its National Nanotechnology Initiative, and European Union has also subsidized 1.2 billion, and 750 million dollars were invested by Japan [18].

Today, nanotechnology is one of the most innovative, vanguard areas of scientific study, and it continues to progress at staggering rates [19]. Through advancement in nanotechnology, many state-of-the-art technologies became available for the drug delivery. Researchers have extensively investigated the potential of nanodevices for target specific and controlled delivery of various micro- and macromolecules including drugs, proteins, monoclonal antibodies, and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in multifarious biomedical applications like cancer [20, 21], vaccination [22], dental [23], inflammatory [24], and other health disorders. It is therefore a need of the day to demonstrate efficient use of nanotechnology applications ranging from in-vivo imaging system to controlled drug delivery, to mark the current progress and get directions for impending research in medical fields.

Pharmaceutical Nanosystems

Pharmaceutical nanotechnology can be classified into two main categories of nanotools, i.e., nanomaterials and nanodevices. Nanomaterials can be further categorized on the basis of three basic parameters including structure, dimension, and phase composition. Nanostructures are further classified into polymeric and non-polymeric structures including nanoparticles, micelles, dendrimers, drug conjugates, metallic nanoparticles, and quantum dots [25]. On the basis of their dimensions, nanomaterials are classified in four groups, i.e., zero, one, two, and three nanodimension materials. According to phase composition, these nanomaterials can be categorized in three groups. Nanodevices are subdivided in three groups, including microelectromechanical systems/nanoelectromechanical system (MEMS/NEMS), microarrays, and respirocytes. These structures and devices can be fabricated with a high degree of functional property for use in medicine to interact with cells at a molecular level, thus allowing an extent of integration between biological systems and latest technology that was not achievable previously [26]. Detailed classification of pharmaceutical nanotools is described with their examples in Table 1.

Table 1 Pharmaceutical nanosystems (classification of nanotools)

Manufacturing Approaches

Nanosizing technologies have achieved great importance for the formulation of poorly water soluble drugs. By reducing the particle size to nanoscale range, the dissolution rate and bioavailability increase because of the increase in surface area, according to the Noyes-Whitney equation [27]. Approaches used for the manufacturing materials are categorized into bottom up techniques, top down techniques, and the combination of bottom up and top down techniques. Bottom up techniques involve built up of molecules. Some of the techniques that follow bottom up approach for manufacturing of nanoscale materials include liquid phase techniques based on inverse micelles, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), sol-gel processing, and molecular self-assembly. The components produced by bottom up are significantly stronger than the macroscale components because of the covalent forces that hold them together. In top down techniques, materials are micronized by cutting, carving, and molding for manufacturing of nanomaterials. Examples include milling, physical vapor deposition, hydrodermal technique electroplating, and nanolithography [28]. Different manufacturing approaches with their respective types are described in Table 2.

Table 2 Different approaches for manufacturing of various nanomaterials with their respective types

Biomedical Applications of Advanced Nanotechnology


Tremendous advancements were reported during the last decade, using the nanotechnology tools for the imaging and therapy in research particularly targeting the cancer cells. Nanoparticles, with size 10–100 nm, offer a very suitable medium to carry out molecular level modifications such as the site-specific imaging and targeting in cancer cells [29]. The following section summarizes some recent advancement in the imaging techniques.

Radionuclide Imaging

Because of the inability of small molecules to be viewed with the noninvasive technique, the site-targeted contrast agents are employed to identify a selected biomarker that is impossible to be separated from the normal surrounding tissues [30]. The radionuclide imaging has been developed with the concept that the expressed protein is probed with a radiopharmaceutical or isotope-labeled agent or cell and is tracked further in vivo [31]. The positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is used in the cancer patients successfully to image the multidrug resistance through P-glycoprotein transport using 99 m tetrofosmin and sestamibi as the radiolabeled substrates for the P-glycoprotein [32, 33]. The mechanism of imaging is determined by the type of modality used for the imaging such as nanocarriers including liposomes [34], dendrimers [35], Bucky balls [36], and numerous polymers and copolymers [37]. They can be filled with the large number of imaging particles such as optically active compounds and radionuclides for the detection with imaging equipment. The BODIPY (boron dipyrromethane)-labeled jasplakinolide analogs have been used to visualize the long lived actin filaments inside the living cells [38, 39].

The enormous growth of nanotechnology is leading the research in the molecular imaging with many contrast agents. To obtain an appropriate imaging, the contrast agent selected should have longer half-life, low background signal, specific epitope binding, and enhanced contrast to noise enhancement. Large number of carrier availability is able to define more advancements in imaging with particular focus on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the disease; this will create more opportunities for the rational development of imaging and drug delivery systems [30].

Quantum Dots

Semiconductor quantum dots are now used as a new class of fluorescent labels. These semiconductor nanocrystals are a promising tool for visualization of the biological cells owing to their easy surface chemistry, allowing biocompatibility and hereto conjugation with elongation of fluorescence time [29, 40]. The visualization properties of quantum dots (fluorescence wavelength) are strongly size dependent. The optical properties of quantum dots depend upon their structure as they are composed of an outer shell and a metallic core. For instance, grapheme quantum dots (GQD), a type of green fluorescence carbon nanomaterials, are made by cutting grapheme oxide solvothermally and are found to be dominating the visualization properties [41].

Quantum dot core is usually made up of cadmium selenide, cadmium sulfide, or cadmium telluride. The outer shell is fabricated on the core with high band gap energy in order to provide electrical insulation with preservation of fluorescence properties of quantum dots. The fine-tuned core and shells with different sizes and compositions with visualization properties of specific wavelength provide a large number of biomarkers [40]. Quantum dots are conjugated with different ligands in order to obtain specific binding to biological receptors. The tumor-targeting ligands are linked with amphiphilic polymer quantum dots and used to carry out the imaging studies of prostate cancer in mice [42]. Similarly, quantum dots offer significant advantages over the conventional dyes such as narrow bandwidth emission, higher photo stability, and extended absorption spectrum for the single excitation source. Moreover, the challenge of hydrophobicity in quantum dots has been overcome by making them water soluble. An example of the aqueous quantum dots with long retention time in biological fluids is the development of highly fluorescent metal sulfide (MS) quantum dots fabricated with thiol-containing charged groups [43]. Furthermore, the unique fluorescence properties of quantum dots made them suitable imaging tools for the cancer cells [42]. Quantum dots linked with A10 RNA aptamer conjugated with doxorubicin (QD-Apt-Dox) is the example of targeted cancer cell imaging [44]. However, increased toxicity of quantum dots has been observed due to the incorporation of heavy metals, resulting in their limited use for the in vivo imaging. Nevertheless, recent approaches focus on the reduction in toxicity and the enhancement of biocompatibility of quantum dots to the body cells. It is also worth to mention that quantum dots with the diameter less than 5.5 nm are rapidly and efficiently excreted from the urine resulting in reduced toxicity. This phenomenon was exhibited by the synthesis of cadmium free, CulnS2/ZnS (copper indium sulfide/ zinc sulfide) as the core and shell of the quantum dots, which resulted in enhanced stability in the living cells for lymph node imaging with a clear reduction in acute local toxicity [45, 46].


One of the greatest achievements in nanomaterials since last few years is the development of biosensors. Biosensors are the devices that contain the biological sensing element that is either connected or integrated in the transducer. Biosensor exhibits their action by recognition of specific molecules in the body on the basis of their structure including antibody antigen, enzyme substrate, and receptor hormone. The two major properties of biosensor including their specificity and selectivity are dependent upon this recognition system. These basic properties of the biosensors are most importantly used for the concentration that is proportional to the signals [47,48,49].

In order to produce the biosensor with high efficiency, the substrate selected for the sensing material dispersion is prerequisite. Different types of nanomaterial including quantum dots [50], magnetic nanoparticles [51], carbon nanotubes (CNTs) [52], and gold nanoparticles (GNPs) [53] are applied to the biosensors. The distinctive chemical, physical, magnetic, optical, and mechanical properties of nanomaterial lead to their increased specificity and sensitivity for detection. Biosensors containing GNPs have offered a compatible environment for the biomolecules that has increased the immobilized biomolecules concentration on the surface of electrode. It has resulted in enhanced sensitivity of the biosensors [54, 55]. The most widely used electrode surfaces within the biosensors are the glassy carbon electrode (GCE), which are modified from GNPs. Moreover, they have shown best sensitivity as well as electrochemical stability. In this regards, methylene blue (MB) and GNPs are easily assembled and modified through layer by layer (LBL) technique in the form of films on GCE, in order to detect the concentration of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) [56]. Owing to the large surface area contained by the nanoparticles in order to load anti-HCG, these immunosensors have their potential to be used for detecting the concentrations of HCG in the human blood or urine samples. Similarly, CNTs have found great applications in biomedical engineering, bio-analysis, bio-sensing, and nanoelectronics [57,58,59]. Moreover, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNT) in the form of bio-nanocomposite layers of polymers have the potential to be used for the DNA detection [60]. Furthermore, magnetic nanoparticles have also found wide applications because of their magnetic properties, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent [61], hyperthermia [62], immunoassay [63], tissue repair [64], cell separation [65], GMR-sensor [66], and drug or gene delivery [67].

Likewise, a new type of magnetic chitosan microspheres (MCMS) has also been produced by simply using chitosan and carbon-coated magnetic nanoparticles [68]. In this study, hemoglobin was also immobilized successfully on the MCMS modified GCE surface by using glutaraldehyde as the crosslinking agent. Another important application of biosensors is in the optical technology, which includes the detection of various kinds of DNA oligonucleotides by using SsDNA–CNT probes as the biosensors [69]. Similarly, liposome-based biosensors have also gained considerable attention as they have been used in the monitoring of the organophosphorus pesticides, including paraoxon and dichlorvos on the minimum levels [70].

Magnetic Nanoparticles

Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) provide exclusive magnetic properties as they have the ability to work at the molecular or cellular level of the biological interactions, which make them the best compounds as contrast agents in MRI and as carriers in drug delivery. The recent advancements in nanotechnology have gained attention as it helped in the modification of the properties and features of MNPs for the biomedical applications. In this respect, the liver tumor and metastasis imaging via RES-mediated uptake of superparamagnetic iron oxides (SPIOs) has been shown to be capable of the differentiation of the lesions that are as small as only 2–3 mm [70, 71]. Moreover, these ultra-small supermagnetic iron oxides (USPIOs) are also very effective in the imaging of the metastasis of the lymph nodes with only 5 to 10 mm of diameter [72]. Furthermore, importance of this noninvasive approach has also been shown in the detection of the lymphatic dissemination as it is considered an important part in the staging as well as in identifying the treatment approaches for the breast colon and prostate cancers [73].

Drug Delivery

Nanotechnology is an attractive tool for disciplines ranging from materials science to biomedicine because of their different physical, optical, and electronic characteristics. The most effective research areas of nanotechnology are nanomedicine that applies nanotechnology principles for the treatment, prevention, and diagnosis of diseases. Moreover, many products of nanomedicine have been marketed due to the surge in nanomedicine research during the past few decades, around the globe. Currently, nanomedicine is influenced by drug delivery systems, accounting for more than 75% of the total sales [74]. In this regards, nanoparticle-based drug delivery platforms have gain the trust of scientists for being the most appropriate vehicles in addressing the pharmacokinetic drawbacks associated with conventional drug formulations [75]. Hence, various nanoforms have been attempted as drug delivery systems such as liposomes, solid lipid nanoparticles, dendrimers, and solid metal-containing NPs, to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of drugs [76, 77]. Some of the major fields of interest are discussed below.


Drug delivery through the ophthalmic route is highly attractive yet challenging for the pharmaceutical scientists. The eye is a tiny intricate organ with multi-compartments. Its biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy have made it most impermeable to the xenobiotic. Common conditions that demand ocular administration contain the eye infections such as, conjunctivitis along with the corneal disorders like glaucoma. The most common drug classes used in the ocular delivery include mydriatics or cycloplegics miotics, anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, diagnostics, and surgical adjuvants. For the small ocular irregularity, gene therapy is required too, and a large amount of work is being conducted within this area. Nanocarrier supported approaches have got attention of the scientists for their suitability and specificity. It has been reported that particulate delivery system such as microspheres and nanoparticles and vesicular carriers like liposomes, niosomes, pharmacosomes, and discomes improved the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics properties of various types of drug molecules [76]. Many novel controlled drug delivery systems have been emerged including hydrogels, muco-adhesive polymers, microemulsions, dendrimers, iontophoretic drug delivery, siRNA-based approaches, stem cells technology, non-viral gene therapy, and laser therapy with the sclera plugs [78]. Different systems for drug delivery are costumed for the delivery of drug through the ocular route. The chief goal of all the drug delivery systems is to improve the residence period, enhance the corneal permeability, and liberate the drug at posterior chamber of eye, leading to increased bioavailability and improved patient compliance [79].

Abrego et al. prepared PLGA (poly lactic co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles of pranoprofen for ophthalmic delivery in the form of hydrogel. This hydrogel formulation have suitable rheological and physicochemical properties for the ocular delivery of pranoprofen with improved biopharmaceutical outline of the drug. Moreover, it intensified the local anti-inflammatory and analgesic results of the drug, resulting in improved patient’s compliance [80]. In another study, cefuroxim loaded nanoparticles of chitosan were developed using a double crosslinking in double emulsion technique. The inference point out chitosan-gelatin particles as potently practical candidates for DD at intraocular level [81]. Moreover, diclofenac loaded N-trimethyl chitosan nanoparticles (DC-TMCNs) were developed for ophthalmic use to improve ocular bioavailability of the drug [82]. Furthermore, nanosized supramolecular assemblies of chitosan-based dexamethasone phosphate have been developed for improved pre-corneal drug residence time due to its muco-adhesive characteristics. These nanoparticles interact strongly with both ocular surface and drug and protect the drug from metabolic degradation leading to extended pre-corneal residence [83]. Glaucoma, an ophthalmic disease, was treated with brimonidine-based loaded sustained release solid lipid nanoparticles using glyceryl monostearate as solid lipid [84, 85]. Similarly, daptomycin-loaded chitosan-coated alginate (CS-ALG) nanoparticles were developed with a suitable size for ocular applications and high encapsulation efficiency (up to 92%). This study revealed that daptomycin nanocarrier system could be used in future to deliver this antibiotic directly into the eye, in order to act as a prospective therapy against bacterial endophthalmitis and as an efficient alternative to chitosan nanoparticles [86].

One of the major causes of short- and long-term failure of grafts in the corneal transplantation is the immunologic graft rejection. For this purpose, PLGA-based biodegradable nanoparticle system of dexamethasone sodium phosphate (DSP) was prepared, resulting in the sustained release of the corticosteroids in order to prevent the rejection of corneal graft [87]. Moreover, MePEG-PCL (polyethylene glycol-poly caprolactone) nanoparticles of curcumin were reported, and they showed increased efficiency, enhanced retention of curcumin in the cornea, and significant improvement in prevention of the corneal neovascularization over free curcumin [88]. Likewise, silver nanoparticle-infused tissue adhesive (2-octyl cyanoacrylate) were developed with enhanced mechanical strength and antibacterial efficacy. These doped adhesive (silver nanoparticles) supported the use of tissue adhesives as a viable supplement or alternative to sutures [89].


Lung diseases probably asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer have a high occurrence and are often life threatening. For instance, it is described that COPD is the fourth major cause of death, and lung carcinoma is the most prevailing cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Nanoparticles are scrutinized as a choice to improve therapy of these severe diseases [90]. Various drug-laden nanoparticles have been utilized for their local and systemic effects in the treatment of lung diseases. Delivery of curative agents to the place of action for lung diseases may permit for effective treatment of chronic lung infections, lung cancers, tuberculosis, and other respiratory pathologies [91]. The nanocarriers used for this purpose include liposomes, lipid- or polymer-based micelles, dendrimers, and polymeric NPs [92]. Polymeric NPs are of prenominal interest, as the polymers can be co-polymerized, surface modified, or bio-conjugated for ameliorate targeting capacity and distribution of the encapsulated agents. The generally used nanocarriers in pulmonary drug delivery contain natural polymers such as gelatin, chitosan, and alginate and synthetic polymers like poloxamer, PLGA, and PEG [93].

It was observed that PLGA NPs exhibit the most convenient set of characteristics as carriers for pulmonary protein/DNA delivery while gelatin NPs are an agreeable reciprocal choice [94]. Similarly, anisotropic or Janus particles of doxorubicin and curcumin were formulated to cargo the anticancer drugs for the treatment of lung cancer through inhalation. The particles were formulated by using the biocompatible and biodegradable materials binary mixtures. These particles did not exhibit geno- and cytotoxic consequence. The cancer cells internalize these Janus particles and massed them in the nucleus and cytoplasm leading to prolonged retention. Moreover, polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers were evaluated as nanocarriers for pulmonary delivery of the model weakly soluble anti-asthma pharmaceutical beclometasone dipropionate (BDP) using G3, G4 and G4 [12] dendrimers. This study showed that BDP-dendrimers have potential for pulmonary inhalation using air-jet and vibrating-mesh nebulizers. Furthermore, it was observed that the aerosol characteristics were influenced by nebulizer design rather than dendrimers generation [95]. Additionally, engineered nanoparticles (ENP), composed of inorganic metals, metal oxides, metalloids, organic biodegradable, and inorganic biocompatible polymers were used efficiently as carriers for the vaccine and drug delivery and for the management of a variety of lung diseases. Properties and efficacious effects of ENPs on lungs are represented in Fig. 1. Inorganic ENP (silver, gold, and carbon ENP), metal oxides ENP (iron oxide, zinc oxides, and titanium dioxide), and organic ENP (Lipid-based, polysaccharide-based, polymer matrix-based) were developed and evaluated for pulmonary immune hemostasis. As well as being relatively secure carriers, modern studies indicated ENP cable of supervening beneficial outcomes with anti-inflammatory properties (e.g., silver and polystyrene) and imprinting of the lung which present the maintenance of immune homeostasis (e.g., polystyrene). Further knowing of the mechanisms may help in better understanding the useful effects of ENP on pulmonary immune homeostasis and/or management of inflammatory lung disease [96].

Fig. 1

Properties and efficacious effects of ENPs on lungs

It is important to state that functionalized cationic lipo-polyamine (Star: Star-mPEG-550) have been recently developed for the siRNA (short interference RNA) in vivo delivery to the pulmonary vascular cells. This balanced lipid formulation intensify the siRNA retention in the lungs of mouse and accomplished significant disassemble of the target gene. The results were found useful and with reduced toxicity of miRNA-145 inhibitor delivery to the lung by using the functionalized cationic lipopolyamine nanoparticles to recruit the pulmonary arteriopathy and rectify function of heart within rats with intense pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) [97].

Cardiovascular System

Cardiovascular disease is the ailment that affects the cardiovascular system, vascular diseases of the brain and kidney, and peripheral arterial disorder. Despite of all advances in pharmacological and clinical management, heart failure is a foremost reason of morbidity worldwide. Many novel therapeutic strategies, embody cell transplantation, gene delivery or therapy, and cytokines or other small molecules, have been studied to treat heart failure [98]. An inadequate number of people are affected in developing countries; over 80% of deaths due to cardiovascular disorder take place in underdeveloped countries and occur almost evenly in male and females [99]. Mathers et al. in 2008 estimated that there are 9.4 million deaths each year [100]. This concludes 45% of deaths caused by coronary heart disease and 51% of deaths due to heart strokes [101]. There are many distinct types of drug delivery vehicles, like polymeric micelles, liposomes, dendrimers, lipoprotein-supported pharmaceutical carriers, and nanoparticle drug carriers.

Chitosan-based liposomes of sirolimus having ≥83% entrapment efficiency were developed for the treatment of restenosis and have been proved a novel platform for efficient targeted delivery [102]. Similarly, bile salt-enriched niosomes of carvedilol with 85% entrapment efficiency have resulted in enhanced bioavailability of drug, and thus, better therapeutic effect [103] was obtained. Inhibition of restenosis in balloon-injured carotid artery is achieved in rats by developing PLGA-based nanoparticles encapsulating AGL 2043 and AG1295, selective blockers of platelet-derived growth factors (PDGF) receptors [104]. Angiogenic therapy of myocardial ischemia with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a favorable approach to overcome hypoxia and its sequel effects. Polymeric particles loaded with VEGF have been proved a promising system for delivery of cytokines to rat myocardial ischemic model. This approach could be further explored for clinical studies [105]. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) owing to its role in mitochondrial electron transport chain appears to be a reliable candidate to treat myocardial ischemia (MI) but its poor biopharmaceutical characteristics needed to be addressed by developing promising delivery approaches. Polymeric nanoparticles were developed to encapsulate CoQ10 to overcome its poor pharmaceutical properties and administered to MI-induced rats. Cardiac function was analyzed by determining ejection fraction before and after 3 months of therapy. Results showed significant betterment in the ejection fraction after 3 months [106].


Cancer is a prime cause of mortality around the globe. The World Health Organization determines that 84 million people die of cancer between 2005 and 2015. The eventual target of cancer therapeutics is to increase the life span and the quality of life of the patient by minimizing the systemic toxicity of chemotherapy [107]. Chemotherapeutic agents have widely been studied in oncology for the past 25 years, but their tumor specificity is unsatisfactory and therefore exhibit dose-dependent toxicity. To overcome this limitation, recent interest has been centered on developing nanoscale delivery carriers that can be targeted directly to the cancer cell, deliver the drug at a controlled rate, and optimize the therapeutic efficacy [108, 109]. Passive and active targeting is used to deliver the drug at its tumor site. The passive phenomenon called the “enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect,” discovered by Matsumura and Maeda, is the dominated pathway used for chemotherapeutics [110, 111]. Active targeting is achieved by grafting ligand at the surface of nanocarriers that bind to receptors or stimuli-based carriers, e.g., dual reverse thermosensitive [112], photo-responsive [113], magnetic nanoparticles [114], and enzymatically activated pro-drugs [115]. Nanoparticles (NPs) can be conjugated with various smart therapeutic carriers like polymeric nanoparticles [116], micelles [117], liposomes [118], solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs) [119], protein nanoparticles [120], viral nanoparticles [121], metallic nanoparticles [122], aptamers [123], dendrimers [124], and monoclonal antibody [125] to improve their efficacy and decrease the systemic toxicity. Table 3 summarizes the different approaches for drug deliveries which are widely studied to target the tumor with maximize therapeutic response and minimum toxicity.

Table 3 Nanomaterials and drug delivery approaches for tumor treatment

Biodegradable poly (o-caprolactone) nanocarriers loaded with tamoxifen were developed for the management of estrogen receptor-specific breast cancer [126]. This study suggested that the nanoparticle preparations of selective estrogen receptor modulators deliver the drug in the specific estrogen receptor zone resulting in enhanced therapeutic efficacy. Similarly, a nanoconjugation of doxorubicin and cisplatin was developed by Chohen et al. [127], which have exhibited enhanced efficiency and reduced side effects of the loaded drugs in the treatment of localized progressive breast cancer. Likewise, chemotherapeutic drug oxaliplatin-loaded nanoparticulate micelles were prepared by Cabral et al. [128], with sustained release of loaded drug in the tumor microenvironment, resulted in enhanced antitumor effect [128]. Furthermore, SLN loaded-5-FU resulted in enhanced bioavailability and sustained release of the encapsulated anticancer drug, leading to enhanced antitumor effect [129].


Nanotechnology is subjected to inordinate progress in various fronts especially to make innovations in healthcare. Target-selective drug delivery and approaches for molecular imaging are the areas of prime importance for research where nanotechnology is playing a progressive role. This review provides readers with a wide vision on novel ongoing potentialities of various nanotechnology-based approaches for imaging and delivery of therapeutics. In order to obtain effective drug delivery, nanotechnology-based imaging has enabled us to apprehend the interactions of nanomaterials with biological environment, targeting receptors, molecular mechanisms involved in pathophysiology of diseases, and has made the real time monitoring of therapeutic response possible. Development of analytical technologies to measure the size of particles in nanometer ranges, and advent of latest manufacturing approaches for nanomaterials, has resulted in establishment of more effective methods for delivery of therapeutics for the treatment of ophthalmological, pulmonary, cardiovascular diseases, and more importantly cancer therapy. These new drug therapies have already been shown to cause fewer side effects and be more effective than traditional therapies. Furthermore, the imaging techniques have enhanced the determination of tumor location in human bodies and their selective targeting. Altogether, this comparatively new and thriving data suggest that additional clinical and toxicity studies are required further on the “proof-of-concept” phase. Nanomedicine cost and manufacturing at larger scale is also a matter of concern that needs to be addressed. Notwithstanding, future of nanomedicines is propitious.



Aggregation-induced emission


Beclometasone dipropionate


Boron dipyrromethane


Carbon nanotubes


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Copper indium sulfide/zinc sulfide quantum dots


Chemical vapor deposition


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Engineered nanoparticles


Enhanced permeability and retention


Glassy carbon electrode


Gold nanoparticles


Grapheme quantum dots


Human chorionic gonadotrophin


Microelectromechanical systems


Myocardial ischemia


Magnetic nanoparticles


Mesoporous silica nanoparticles


Multi-walled carbon nanotubes


Nanoelectromechanical system


Pulmonary arterial hypertension


Poly caprolactone


Platelet-derived growth factors


Poly ethylene glycol


Positron emission tomography


Poly lactic-co-glycolic acid


Reactive oxygen species


Short interference RNA


Solid lipid nanoparticles


Superparamagnetic iron oxides


Vascular endothelial growth factor


  1. 1.

    Arora S, Rajwade JM, Paknikar KM (2012) Nanotoxicology and in vitro studies: the need of the hour. Toxicol Appl Pharm 258(2):151–165

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Saini R, Saini S, Sharma S (2010) Nanotechnology: the future medicine. J Cutan Aesthet Surg 3(1):32

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Holdren J. The national nanotechnology initiative strategic plan report at subcommittee on nanoscale science, engineering and technology of committee on technology. National Science Technology Council (NSTC), Arlington. 2011

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Fakruddin M, Hossain Z, Afroz H (2012) Prospects and applications of nanobiotechnology: a medical perspective. J Nanobiotechnol 10(1):31

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Drexler E. Reprint. Engines of Creation. The Coming Era of Nanotechnology. New York: Anchor Books. Original edition, NY: Anchor Books; 1986

  6. 6.

    Drexler KE, Peterson C, Pergamit G (1991) Unbounding the future, vol 294. William Morrow, New York

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Freitas RA (1999) Nanomedicine, volume I: basic capabilities: Landes Bioscience. Georgetown, TX

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Freitas RA Jr (2003) Nanomedicine, Vol. IIA: Biocompatibility. Landes Bioscience. Georgetown, USA

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Freitas RA (2005) What is nanomedicine? Nanomed Nanotech Biol Med 1(1):2–9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Parviz BA, Ryan D, Whitesides GM (2003) Using self-assembly for the fabrication of nano-scale electronic and photonic devices. IEEE Trans Adv Packag 26(3):233–241

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Nakano T, Moore MJ, Wei F, Vasilakos AV, Shuai J (2012) Molecular communication and networking: opportunities and challenges. IEEE Trans Nanobioscience 11(2):135–148

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Cavalcanti A, Shirinzadeh B, Fukuda T, Ikeda S, editors. Hardware architecture for nanorobot application in cerebral aneurysm. Nanotechnology, 2007 IEEE-NANO 2007 7th IEEE Conference on; 2007: IEEE

  13. 13.

    Garcia R, Herruzo ET (2012) The emergence of multifrequency force microscopy. Nat Nanotechnol 7(4):217–226

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Sun Q, Cai X, Li J, Zheng M, Chen Z, Yu C-P (2014) Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using tea leaf extract and evaluation of their stability and antibacterial activity. Colloids Surf A Physicochem Eng Asp 444:226–231

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Ferrari M (2005) Cancer nanotechnology: opportunities and challenges. Nat Rev Cancer 5(3):161–171

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Vasir JK, Reddy MK, Labhasetwar VD (2005) Nanosystems in drug targeting: opportunities and challenges. Curr Nanosci 1(1):47–64

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Klaessig F, Marrapese M, Abe S (2011) Current perspectives in nanotechnology terminology and nomenclature. Nanotechnology standards. Springer, pp 21–52

  18. 18.

    Yadav T, Mungray AA, Mungray AK. Fabricated nanoparticles: current status and potential phytotoxic threats. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. volume: Springer; 2014. p. 83–110

  19. 19.

    Scott N, Chen H (2013) Nanoscale science and engineering for agriculture and food systems. Ind Biotechnol 9(1):17–18

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Ebrahimi E, Akbarzadeh A, Abbasi E, Khandaghi AA, Abasalizadeh F, Davaran S (2016) Novel drug delivery system based on doxorubicin-encapsulated magnetic nanoparticles modified with PLGA-PEG1000 copolymer. Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol 44(1):290–297

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Cosco D, Cilurzo F, Maiuolo J, Federico C, Di Martino MT, Cristiano MC et al (2015) Delivery of miR-34a by chitosan/PLGA nanoplexes for the anticancer treatment of multiple myeloma. Sci Rep 5

  22. 22.

    Vartak A, Sucheck SJ (2016) Recent advances in subunit vaccine carriers. Vaccine 4(2):12

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Virlan MJR, Miricescu D, Totan A, Greabu M, Tanase C, Sabliov CM et al (2015) Current uses of poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) in the dental field: a comprehensive review. J Chem 2015

  24. 24.

    Hua S, Marks E, Schneider JJ, Keely S (2015) Advances in oral nano-delivery systems for colon targeted drug delivery in inflammatory bowel disease: selective targeting to diseased versus healthy tissue. Nanomed Nanotech Biol Med 11(5):1117–1132

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Bhatia S (2016) Nanoparticles types, classification, characterization, fabrication methods and drug delivery applications. In: Natural polymer drug delivery systems. Springer, pp 33–93

  26. 26.

    Silva GA (2004) Introduction to nanotechnology and its applications to medicine. Surg Neurol 61(3):216–220

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Sinha B, Müller RH, Möschwitzer JP (2013) Bottom-up approaches for preparing drug nanocrystals: formulations and factors affecting particle size. Int J Pharm 453(1):126–141

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Kaialy W, Al SM (2016) Recent advances in the engineering of nanosized active pharmaceutical ingredients: promises and challenges. Adv Colloid Interf Sci 228:71–91

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Portney NG, Ozkan M (2006) Nano-oncology: drug delivery, imaging, and sensing. Anal Bioanal Chem 384(3):620–630

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Wickline SA, Lanza GM. Nanotechnology for molecular imaging and targeted therapy. Am Heart Assoc; 2003

    Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Allport JR, Weissleder R (2001) In vivo imaging of gene and cell therapies. Exp Hematol 29(11):1237–1246

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Ballinger JR (2001) 99mTc-Tetrofosmin for functional imaging of P-glycoprotein modulation in vivo. J Clin Pharmacol 41(S7)

  33. 33.

    Kao CH, Hsieh JF, Tsai SC, Ho YJ, ChangLai SP, Lee JK (2001) Paclitaxel-based chemotherapy for non–small cell lung cancer: predicting the response with 99mTc-tetrofosmin chest imaging. J Nucl Med 42(1):17–20

    Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Martina M-S, Fortin J-P, Ménager C, Clément O, Barratt G, Grabielle-Madelmont C et al (2005) Generation of superparamagnetic liposomes revealed as highly efficient MRI contrast agents for in vivo imaging. J Am Chem Soc 127(30):10676–10685

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Kuil J, Buckle T, Oldenburg J, Yuan H, Borowsky AD, Josephson L et al (2011) Hybrid peptide dendrimers for imaging of chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) expression. Mol Pharm 8(6):2444–2453

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Noon WH, Kong Y, Ma J (2002) Molecular dynamics analysis of a buckyball–antibody complex. Proc Natl Acad Sci 99(suppl 2):6466–6470

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Torchilin VP (2000) Polymeric contrast agents for medical imaging. Curr Pharm Biotechnol 1(2):183–215

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Milroy LG, Rizzo S, Calderon A, Ellinger B, Erdmann S, Mondry J et al (2012) Selective chemical imaging of static actin in live cells. J Am Chem Soc 134(20):8480–8486

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Kowada T, Maeda H, Kikuchi K (2015) BODIPY-based probes for the fluorescence imaging of biomolecules in living cells. Chem Soc Rev 44(14):4953–4972

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    Mohs AM, Provenzale JM (2010) Applications of nanotechnology to imaging and therapy of brain tumors. Neuroimaging Clin N Am 20(3):283–292

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    Wang L, Zhu SJ, Wang HY, Qu SN, Zhang YL, Zhang JH et al (2014) Common origin of green luminescence in carbon nanodots and graphene quantum dots. ACS Nano 8(3):2541–2547

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    Gao X, Cui Y, Levenson RM, Chung LW, Nie S (2004) In vivo cancer targeting and imaging with semiconductor quantum dots. Nat Biotechnol 22(8):969–976

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. 43.

    Shih WH, Shih WY, Li H, Schillo MC. Water soluble quantum dots. Google Patents; 2009

    Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Bagalkot V, Zhang L, Levy-Nissenbaum E, Jon S, Kantoff PW, Langer R et al (2007) Quantum dot− aptamer conjugates for synchronous cancer imaging, therapy, and sensing of drug delivery based on bi-fluorescence resonance energy transfer. Nano Lett 7(10):3065–3070

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    Choi HS, Liu W, Misra P, Tanaka E, Zimmer JP, Ipe BI et al (2007) Renal clearance of quantum dots. Nat Biotechnol 25(10):1165–1170

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. 46.

    Pons T, Pic E, Lequeux N, Cassette E, Bezdetnaya L, Guillemin F et al (2010) Cadmium-free CuInS2/ZnS quantum dots for sentinel lymph node imaging with reduced toxicity. ACS Nano 4(5):2531–2538

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. 47.

    Buch RM, Rechnitz G (1989) Intact chemoreceptor-based biosensors: responses and analytical limits. Biosensors 4(4):215–230

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. 48.

    Kricka L (1988) Molecular and ionic recognition by biological systems, Chemical sensors. Springer, pp 3–14

  49. 49.

    Zhang X, Guo Q, Cui D (2009) Recent advances in nanotechnology applied to biosensors. Sensors 9(2):1033–1053

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    You X, He R, Gao F, Shao J, Pan B, Cui D (2007) Hydrophilic high-luminescent magnetic nanocomposites. Nanotechnology 18(3):035701

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. 51.

    Pan B, Cui D, Sheng Y, Ozkan C, Gao F, He R et al (2007) Dendrimer-modified magnetic nanoparticles enhance efficiency of gene delivery system. Cancer Res 67(17):8156–8163

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. 52.

    Cui D, Tian F, Coyer SR, Wang J, Pan B, Gao F et al (2007) Effects of antisense-Myc-conjugated single-walled carbon Nanotubes on HL-60Cells. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 7(4–1):1639–1646

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. 53.

    Pan B, Cui D, Xu P, Li Q, Huang T, He R et al (2007) Study on interaction between gold nanorod and bovine serum albumin. Colloids Surf A Physicochem Eng Asp 295(1):217–222

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. 54.

    Liang KZ, Qi JS, Mu WJ, Chen ZG (2008) Biomolecules/gold nanowires-doped sol–gel film for label-free electrochemical immunoassay of testosterone. J Biochem Biophys Methods 70(6):1156–1162

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. 55.

    He X, Yuan R, Chai Y, Shi Y (2008) A sensitive amperometric immunosensor for carcinoembryonic antigen detection with porous nanogold film and nano-au/chitosan composite as immobilization matrix. J Biochem Biophys Methods 70(6):823–829

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. 56.

    Chai R, Yuan R, Chai Y, Ou C, Cao S, Li X (2008) Amperometric immunosensors based on layer-by-layer assembly of gold nanoparticles and methylene blue on thiourea modified glassy carbon electrode for determination of human chorionic gonadotrophin. Talanta 74(5):1330–1336

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. 57.

    Pan B, Cui D, He R, Gao F, Zhang Y (2006) Covalent attachment of quantum dot on carbon nanotubes. Chem Phys Lett 417(4):419–424

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. 58.

    Cui D, Tian F, Kong Y, Titushikin I, Gao H (2003) Effects of single-walled carbon nanotubes on the polymerase chain reaction. Nanotechnology 15(1):154

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. 59.

    Cui D (2007) Advances and prospects on biomolecules functionalized carbon nanotubes. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 7(4–1):1298–1314

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. 60.

    Li G, Xu H, Huang W, Wang Y, Wu Y, Parajuli R (2008) A pyrrole quinoline quinone glucose dehydrogenase biosensor based on screen-printed carbon paste electrodes modified by carbon nanotubes. Meas SciTechnol 19(6):065203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. 61.

    Lee H, Lee E, Kim DK, Jang NK, Jeong YY, Jon S (2006) Antibiofouling polymer-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles as potential magnetic resonance contrast agents for in vivo cancer imaging. J Am Chem Soc 128(22):7383–7389

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. 62.

    Kim DH, Lee SH, Kim KN, Kim KM, Shim IB, Lee YK (2005) Cytotoxicity of ferrite particles by MTT and agar diffusion methods for hyperthermic application. J Magn Magn Mater 293(1):287–292

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. 63.

    Sincai M, Ganga D, Ganga M, Argherie D, Bica D (2005) Antitumor effect of magnetite nanoparticles in cat mammary adenocarcinoma. J Magn Magn Mater 293(1):438–441

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. 64.

    Ito A, Ino K, Kobayashi T, Honda H (2005) The effect of RGD peptide-conjugated magnetite cationic liposomes on cell growth and cell sheet harvesting. Biomaterials 26(31):6185–6193

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. 65.

    Guedes MHA, Sadeghiani N, Peixoto DLG, Coelho JP, Barbosa LS, Azevedo RB et al (2005) Effects of AC magnetic field and carboxymethyldextran-coated magnetite nanoparticles on mice peritoneal cells. J Magn Magn Mater 293(1):283–286

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. 66.

    Rife J, Miller M, Sheehan P, Tamanaha C, Tondra M, Whitman L (2003) Design and performance of GMR sensors for the detection of magnetic microbeads in biosensors. Sens Actuators A-Phys 107(3):209–218

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. 67.

    Morishita N, Nakagami H, Morishita R (2005) Takeda S-i, Mishima F, Nishijima S, et al. magnetic nanoparticles with surface modification enhanced gene delivery of HVJ-E vector. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun 334(4):1121–1126

    Google Scholar 

  68. 68.

    Lai GS, Zhang HL, Han DY (2008) A novel hydrogen peroxide biosensor based on hemoglobin immobilized on magnetic chitosan microspheres modified electrode. Sens and Actuators B: Chem 129(2):497–503

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. 69.

    Cao C, Kim JH, Yoon D, Hwang ES, Kim YJ, Baik S (2008) Optical detection of DNA hybridization using absorption spectra of single-walled carbon nanotubes. Mater Chem Phys 112(3):738–741

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. 70.

    Corot C, Robert P, Idée JM, Port M (2006) Recent advances in iron oxide nanocrystal technology for medical imaging. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 58(14):1471–1504

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. 71.

    Semelka RC, Helmberger TK (2001) Contrast agents for MR imaging of the liver 1. Radiology 218(1):27–38

    Article  Google Scholar 

  72. 72.

    Harisinghani MG, Barentsz J, Hahn PF, Deserno WM, Tabatabaei S, van de Kaa CH et al (2003) Noninvasive detection of clinically occult lymph-node metastases in prostate cancer. N Engl J Med 348:2491–2499

    Article  Google Scholar 

  73. 73.

    Harisinghani MG, Weissleder R (2004) Sensitive, noninvasive detection of lymph node metastases. PLoS Med 1(3):e66

    Article  Google Scholar 

  74. 74.

    Wagner V, Dullaart A, Bock AK, Zweck A (2006) The emerging nanomedicine landscape. Nat Biotechnol 24(10):1211–1217

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. 75.

    Blanco E, Shen H, Ferrari M (2015) Principles of nanoparticle design for overcoming biological barriers to drug delivery. Nat Biotechnol 33(9):941–951

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. 76.

    Wadhwa S, Paliwal R, Paliwal SR, Vyas S (2009) Nanocarriers in ocular drug delivery: an update review. Curr Pharm Des 15(23):2724–2750

    Article  Google Scholar 

  77. 77.

    ud Din F, Rashid R, Mustapha O, Kim DW, Park JH, Ku SK et al (2015) Development of a novel solid lipid nanoparticles-loaded dual-reverse thermosensitive nanomicelle for intramuscular administration with sustained release and reduced toxicity. RSC Adv 5(54):43687–43694

    Article  Google Scholar 

  78. 78.

    Patel A, Cholker K, Agrahari V, Mitra AK. Occular drug delivery systems: an overview. World J Pharmacol 2013;2(2): 47–64

  79. 79.

    Puglia C, Offerta A, Carbone C, Bonina F, Pignatello R, Puglisi G (2015) Lipid nanocarriers (LNC) and their applications in ocular drug delivery. Curr Med Chem 22(13):1589–1602

    Article  Google Scholar 

  80. 80.

    Abrego G, Alvarado H, Souto EB, Guevara B, Bellowa LH, Parra A et al (2015) Biopharmaceutical profile of pranoprofen-loaded PLGA nanoparticles containing hydrogels for ocular administration. Eur J Pharm Biopharm 95:261–270

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. 81.

    Andrei G, Peptu CA, Popa M, Desbrieres J, Peptu C, Gardikiotis F et al (2015) Formulation and evaluation of cefuroxim loaded submicron particles for ophthalmic delivery. Int J Pharm 493(1):16–29

    Article  Google Scholar 

  82. 82.

    Asasutjarit R, Theerachayanan T, Kewsuwan P, Veeranodha S, Fuongfuchat A, Ritthidej GC (2015) Development and evaluation of diclofenac sodium loaded-N-Trimethyl chitosan nanoparticles for ophthalmic use. AAPS PharmSciTech 16(5):1013–1024

    Article  Google Scholar 

  83. 83.

    Fabiano A, Chetoni P, Zambito Y (2015) Mucoadhesive nano-sized supramolecular assemblies for improved pre-corneal drug residence time. Drug Dev Ind Pharm 41(12):2069–2076

    Article  Google Scholar 

  84. 84.

    El-Salamouni NS, Farid RM, El-Kamel AH, El-Gamal SS (2015) Effect of sterilization on the physical stability of brimonidine-loaded solid lipid nanoparticles and nanostructured lipid carriers. Int J Pharm 496(2):976–983

    Article  Google Scholar 

  85. 85.

    Ibrahim MM, Abd-Elgawad A-EH, Soliman OA-E, Jablonski MM (2015) Natural bioadhesive biodegradable nanoparticle-based topical ophthalmic formulations for management of glaucoma. Transl Vis Sci Technol 4(3):12

    Article  Google Scholar 

  86. 86.

    Costa J, Silva N, Sarmento B, Pintado M (2015) Potential chitosan-coated alginate nanoparticles for ocular delivery of daptomycin. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 34(6):1255–1262

    Article  Google Scholar 

  87. 87.

    Pan Q, Xu Q, Boylan NJ, Lamb NW, Emmert DG, Yang J-C et al (2015) Corticosteroid-loaded biodegradable nanoparticles for prevention of corneal allograft rejection in rats. J Control Release 201:32–40

    Article  Google Scholar 

  88. 88.

    Pradhan N, Guha R, Chowdhury S, Nandi S, Konar A, Hazra S (2015) Curcumin nanoparticles inhibit corneal neovascularization. J Mol Medic 93(10):1095–1106

    Article  Google Scholar 

  89. 89.

    Yee W, Selvaduray G, Hawkins B (2016) Characterization of silver nanoparticle-infused tissue adhesive for ophthalmic use. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater 55:67–74

    Article  Google Scholar 

  90. 90.

    Weber S, Zimmer A, Pardeike J (2014) Solid lipid Nanoparticles (SLN) and Nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) for pulmonary application: a review of the state of the art. Eur J Pharm Biopharm 86(1):7–22

    Article  Google Scholar 

  91. 91.

    Yang W, Peters JI, Williams RO III. (2008) Inhaled nanoparticles--a current review. Int J Pharm 356(1–2):239–247

    Article  Google Scholar 

  92. 92.

    Smola M, Vandamme T, Sokolowski A (2008) Nanocarriers as pulmonary drug delivery systems to treat and to diagnose respiratory and nonrespiratory diseases. Int J Nanomedicine 3(1):1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  93. 93.

    Sung JC, Pulliam BL, Edwards DA (2007) Nanoparticles for drug delivery to the lungs. Trends Biotechnol 25(12):563–570

    Article  Google Scholar 

  94. 94.

    Menon JU, Ravikumar P, Pise A, Gyawali D, Hsia CC, Nguyen KT (2014) Polymeric nanoparticles for pulmonary protein and DNA delivery. Acta Biomater 10(6):2643–2652

    Article  Google Scholar 

  95. 95.

    Nasr M, Najlah M, D’Emanuele A, Elhissi A (2014) PAMAM dendrimers as aerosol drug nanocarriers for pulmonary delivery via nebulization. Int J Pharm 461(1):242–250

    Article  Google Scholar 

  96. 96.

    Mohamud R, Xiang SD, Selomulya C, Rolland JM, O’Hehir RE, Hardy CL et al (2014) The effects of engineered nanoparticles on pulmonary immune homeostasis. Drug Metab Rev 46(2):176–190

    Article  Google Scholar 

  97. 97.

    McLendon JM, Joshi SR, Sparks J, Matar M, Fewell JG, Abe K et al (2015) Lipid nanoparticle delivery of a microRNA-145 inhibitor improves experimental pulmonary hypertension. J Control Release 210:67–75

    Article  Google Scholar 

  98. 98.

    Arora N, Singh K, Garg T (2012) Areas of nanomedicine applications. Int J Univ Pharm Life Sci 2:216–227

    Google Scholar 

  99. 99.

    Singh B, Garg T, Goyal AK, Rath G (2016) Recent advancements in the cardiovascular drug carriers. Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol 44(1):216–225

    Article  Google Scholar 

  100. 100.

    Mathers C, Fat DM, Boerma JT. The global burden of disease: 2004 update: World Health Organization; 2008

    Google Scholar 

  101. 101.

    Lim SS, Vos T, Flaxman AD, Danaei G, Shibuya K, Adair-Rohani H et al (2013) A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the global burden of disease study 2010. Lancet 380(9859):2224–2260

    Article  Google Scholar 

  102. 102.

    Haeri A, Sadeghian S, Rabbani S, Anvari MS, Ghassemi S, Radfar F et al (2017) Effective attenuation of vascular restenosis following local delivery of chitosan decorated sirolimus liposomes. Carbohydr Polymer 157:1461–1469

    Article  Google Scholar 

  103. 103.

    Arzani G, Haeri A, Daeihamed M, Bakhtiari-Kaboutaraki H, Dadashzadeh S (2015) Niosomal carriers enhance oral bioavailability of carvedilol: effects of bile salt-enriched vesicles and carrier surface charge. Int J Nanomedicine 10:4797

    Google Scholar 

  104. 104.

    Godin B, Sakamoto JH, Serda RE, Grattoni A, Bouamrani A, Ferrari M (2010) Emerging applications of nanomedicine for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Trends Pharmacol Sci 31(5):199–205

    Article  Google Scholar 

  105. 105.

    Formiga FR, Pelacho B, Garbayo E, Abizanda G, Gavira JJ, Simon-Yarza T et al (2010) Sustained release of VEGF through PLGA microparticles improves vasculogenesis and tissue remodeling in an acute myocardial ischemia–reperfusion model. J Control Release 147(1):30–37

    Article  Google Scholar 

  106. 106.

    Simón-Yarza T, Tamayo E, Benavides C, Lana H, Formiga FR, Grama CN et al (2013) Functional benefits of PLGA particulates carrying VEGF and CoQ 10 in an animal of myocardial ischemia. Int J Pharm 454(2):784–790

    Article  Google Scholar 

  107. 107.

    Danhier F, Feron O, Preat V (2010) To exploit the tumor microenvironment: passive and active tumor targeting of nanocarriers for anti-cancer drug delivery. J Control Release 148(2):135–146

    Article  Google Scholar 

  108. 108.

    Mishra B, Patel BB, Tiwari S (2010) Colloidal nanocarriers: a review on formulation technology, types and applications toward targeted drug delivery. Nanomed Nanotechnol Biol Med 6(1):9–24

    Article  Google Scholar 

  109. 109.

    Din FU, Kim DW, Choi JY, Thapa RK, Mustapha O, Kim DS et al (2017) Irinotecan-loaded double-reversible thermogel with improved antitumor efficacy without initial burst effect and toxicity for intramuscular administration. Acta Biomater 54:239–248

    Article  Google Scholar 

  110. 110.

    Maeda H, Bharate G, Daruwalla J (2009) Polymeric drugs for efficient tumor-targeted drug delivery based on EPR-effect. Eur J Pharma Biopharm 71(3):409–419

    Article  Google Scholar 

  111. 111.

    Matsumura Y, Maeda H (1986) A new concept for macromolecular therapeutics in cancer chemotherapy: mechanism of tumoritropic accumulation of proteins and the antitumor agent smancs. Cancer Res 46(12 Part 1):6387–6392

    Google Scholar 

  112. 112.

    Din FU, Choi JY, Kim DW, Mustapha O, Kim DS, Thapa RK et al (2017) Irinotecan-encapsulated double-reverse thermosensitive nanocarrier system for rectal administration. Drug Deliv 24(1):502–510

    Article  Google Scholar 

  113. 113.

    Tong R, Hemmati HD, Langer R, Kohane DS (2012) Photoswitchable nanoparticles for triggered tissue penetration and drug delivery. J Am Chem Soc 134(21):8848–8855

    Article  Google Scholar 

  114. 114.

    Arias JL, Reddy LH, Othman M, Gillet B, Desmaele D, Zouhiri F et al (2011) Squalene based nanocomposites: a new platform for the design of multifunctional pharmaceutical theragnostics. ACS Nano 5(2):1513–1521

    Article  Google Scholar 

  115. 115.

    Brown JM, Wilson WR (2004) Exploiting tumour hypoxia in cancer treatment. Nat Rev Cancer 4(6):437–447

    Article  Google Scholar 

  116. 116.

    Cao J, Deng X, Su T, He B (2016) Fabrication of polymeric nanoparticles for cancer therapy and intracellular tracing. Nanomed Nanotechnol Biol Med 12(2):459

    Article  Google Scholar 

  117. 117.

    Xie J, Zhang X, Teng M, Yu B, Yang S, Lee RJ, et al. Synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of mPeg–sN38 and mPeg–Pla–sN38 micelles for cancer therapy.Int J Nanomedicine. 2016;11:1677

  118. 118.

    Eloy JO, Petrilli R, Topan JF, Antonio HMR, Barcellos JPA, Chesca DL et al (2016) Co-loaded paclitaxel/rapamycin liposomes: development, characterization and in vitro and in vivo evaluation for breast cancer therapy. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 141:74–82

    Article  Google Scholar 

  119. 119.

    Din FU, Mustapha O, Kim DW, Rashid R, Park JH, Choi JY et al (2015) Novel dual-reverse thermosensitive solid lipid nanoparticle-loaded hydrogel for rectal administration of flurbiprofen with improved bioavailability and reduced initial burst effect. Eur J Pharm Biopharm 94:64–72

    Article  Google Scholar 

  120. 120.

    Lee J, Kang JA, Ryu Y, Han S-S, Nam YR, Rho JK et al (2017) Genetically engineered and self-assembled oncolytic protein nanoparticles for targeted cancer therapy. Biomaterials 120:22–31

    Article  Google Scholar 

  121. 121.

    Le DH, Lee KL, Shukla S, Commandeur U, Steinmetz NF (2017) Potato virus X, a filamentous plant viral nanoparticle for doxorubicin delivery in cancer therapy. Nano 9(6):2348–2357

    Google Scholar 

  122. 122.

    Volsi AL, de Aberasturi DJ, Henriksen-Lacey M, Giammona G, Licciardi M, Liz-Marzán LM (2016) Inulin coated plasmonic gold nanoparticles as a tumor-selective tool for cancer therapy. J Mater Chem B 4(6):1150–1155

    Article  Google Scholar 

  123. 123.

    Zhuang Y, Deng H, Su Y, He L, Wang R, Tong G et al (2016) Aptamer-functionalized and backbone redox-responsive hyperbranched polymer for targeted drug delivery in cancer therapy. Biomacromolecules 17(6):2050–2062

    Article  Google Scholar 

  124. 124.

    Wang X, Wang H, Wang Y, Yu X, Zhang S, Zhang Q et al (2016) A facile strategy to prepare Dendrimer-stabilized gold Nanorods with sub-10-nm size for efficient Photothermal cancer therapy. Sci Rep 6

  125. 125.

    Gray MJ, Gong J, Nguyen V, Schuler-Hatch M, Hughes C, Hutchins J, et al. Abstract B27: targeting of phosphatidylserine by monoclonal antibody ch1N11 enhances the antitumor activity of immune checkpoint inhibitor PD-1/PD-L1 therapy in orthotopic murine breast cancer models. AACR; 2016

    Google Scholar 

  126. 126.

    Chawla JS, Amiji MM (2002) Biodegradable poly (ε-caprolactone) nanoparticles for tumor-targeted delivery of tamoxifen. Int J Pharm 249(1):127–138

    Article  Google Scholar 

  127. 127.

    Cohen SM, Mukerji R, Cai S, Damjanov I, Forrest ML, Cohen MS (2011) Subcutaneous delivery of nanoconjugated doxorubicin and cisplatin for locally advanced breast cancer demonstrates improved efficacy and decreased toxicity at lower doses than standard systemic combination therapy in vivo. Am J Surg 202(6):646–653

    Article  Google Scholar 

  128. 128.

    Cabral H, Murakami M, Hojo H, Terada Y, Kano MR (2013) Chung Ui, et al. targeted therapy of spontaneous murine pancreatic tumors by polymeric micelles prolongs survival and prevents peritoneal metastasis. Proc Natl Acad Sci 110(28):11397–11402

    Article  Google Scholar 

  129. 129.

    Yassin A, Anwer MK, Mowafy HA, El-Bagory IM, Bayomi MA, Alsarra IA (2010) Optimization of 5-fluorouracil solid-lipid nanoparticles: a preliminary study to treat colon cancer. Int J Med Sci 7(6):398–408

    Article  Google Scholar 

  130. 130.

    Alley SC, Okeley NM, Senter PD (2010) Antibody–drug conjugates: targeted drug delivery for cancer. Curr opinion Chem Biol 14(4):529–537

    Article  Google Scholar 

  131. 131.

    Reddy B, Yadav HK, Nagesha DK, Raizaday A, Karim A (2015) Polymeric micelles as novel carriers for poorly soluble drugs—review. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 15(6):4009–4018

    Article  Google Scholar 

  132. 132.

    Gillies ER, Frechet JM (2005) Dendrimers and dendritic polymers in drug delivery. Drug Discov Today 10(1):35–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  133. 133.

    Anupa R (2010) Menjoge rangaramanujam, M.; Kannan Donald, a,; Tomalia. Dendrimer–based drug and imaging conjugates: desingn considerations for nanomedical application. Drug Discov Today 15:171–185

    Article  Google Scholar 

  134. 134.

    Zhao M-X, Zhu B-J (2016) The research and applications of quantum dots as nano-carriers for targeted drug delivery and cancer therapy. Nanoscale Res Lett 11(1):207

    Article  Google Scholar 

  135. 135.

    Martincic M, Tobias G (2015) Filled carbon nanotubes in biomedical imaging and drug delivery. Expert Opin Drug Deliv 12(4):563–581

    Article  Google Scholar 

  136. 136.

    Ahmad MZ, Akhter S, Jain GK, Rahman M, Pathan SA, Ahmad FJ et al (2010) Metallic nanoparticles: technology overview & drug delivery applications in oncology. Expert Opin Drug Deliv 7(8):927–942

    Article  Google Scholar 

  137. 137.

    Wang Y, Zhao Q, Han N, Bai L, Li J, Liu J et al (2015) Mesoporous silica nanoparticles in drug delivery and biomedical applications. Nanomed Nanotech Biol Med 11(2):313–327

    Article  Google Scholar 

  138. 138.

    Nazemi A, Gillies ER (2013) Dendritic surface functionalization of nanomaterials: controlling properties and functions for biomedical applications. Braz J Pharm Sci 49(SPE):15–32

    Article  Google Scholar 

  139. 139.

    Bottari G, Urbani M, Torres T (2013) Covalent, donor–acceptor ensembles based ON Phthalocyanines AND CARBON nanostructures. In: Organic Nanomaterials: synthesis, characterization, and device applications, pp 163–186

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  140. 140.

    Siró I, Plackett D (2010) Microfibrillated cellulose and new nanocomposite materials: a review. Cellulose 17(3):459–494

    Article  Google Scholar 

  141. 141.

    Jariwala D, Sangwan VK, Lauhon LJ, Marks TJ, Hersam MC (2013) Carbon nanomaterials for electronics, optoelectronics, photovoltaics, and sensing. Chem Soc Rev 42(7):2824–2860

    Article  Google Scholar 

  142. 142.

    Duran H, Steinhart M (2011) Butt H-Jr, Floudas G. From heterogeneous to homogeneous nucleation of isotactic poly (propylene) confined to nanoporous alumina. Nano Lett 11(4):1671–1675

    Article  Google Scholar 

  143. 143.

    Kumari A, Yadav SK, Yadav SC (2010) Biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles based drug delivery systems. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 75(1):1–18

    Article  Google Scholar 

  144. 144.

    Hoare T, Santamaria J, Goya GF, Irusta S, Lin D, Lau S et al (2009) A magnetically-triggered composite membrane for on-demand drug delivery. Nano Lett 9(10):3651

    Article  Google Scholar 

  145. 145.

    Mishra B, Patel BB, Tiwari S (2010) Colloidal nanocarriers: a review on formulation technology, types and applications toward targeted drug delivery. Nanomed Nanotech Biol Med 6(1):9–24

    Article  Google Scholar 

  146. 146.

    Rabl P, Kolkowitz S, Koppens F, Harris J, Zoller P, Lukin M (2010) A quantum spin transducer based on nanoelectromechanical resonator arrays. Nat Phys 6(8):602–608

    Article  Google Scholar 

  147. 147.

    Chandrasekhar S, Iyer LK, Panchal JP, Topp EM, Cannon JB, Ranade VV (2013) Microarrays and microneedle arrays for delivery of peptides, proteins, vaccines and other applications. Expert Opin Drug Deliv 10(8):1155–1170

    Article  Google Scholar 

  148. 148.

    Shabnashmi PS (2016) NKS, Vithya V., Vijaya Lakshmi B. And jasmine R. Therapeutic applications of Nanorobots- Respirocytes and Microbivores. J Chem Pharm Res 8(5):605–609

    Google Scholar 

  149. 149.

    Homayouni A, Sadeghi F, Varshosaz J, Garekani HA, Nokhodchi A (2014) Promising dissolution enhancement effect of soluplus on crystallized celecoxib obtained through antisolvent precipitation and high pressure homogenization techniques. Colloid Surf B Biointerfaces 122:591–600

    Article  Google Scholar 

  150. 150.

    Mugheirbi NA, Paluch KJ, Tajber L (2014) Heat induced evaporative antisolvent nanoprecipitation (HIEAN) of itraconazole. Int J Pharm 471(1):400–411

    Article  Google Scholar 

  151. 151.

    Sadeghi F, Ashofteh M, Homayouni A, Abbaspour M, Nokhodchi A, Garekani HA (2016) Antisolvent precipitation technique: a very promising approach to crystallize curcumin in presence of polyvinyl pyrrolidon for solubility and dissolution enhancement. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 147:258–264

    Article  Google Scholar 

  152. 152.

    Margulis K, Magdassi S, Lee HS, Macosko CW (2014) Formation of curcumin nanoparticles by flash nanoprecipitation from emulsions. J Colloid Interface Sci 434:65–70

    Article  Google Scholar 

  153. 153.

    Wang M, Yang N, Guo Z, Gu K, Shao A, Zhu W et al (2015) Facile preparation of AIE-active fluorescent Nanoparticles through flash Nanoprecipitation. Ind Eng Chem Res 54(17):4683–4688

    Article  Google Scholar 

  154. 154.

    Tam YT, To KKW, Chow AHL (2016) Fabrication of doxorubicin nanoparticles by controlled antisolvent precipitation for enhanced intracellular delivery. Colloid Surf B Biointerfaces. 139:249–258

    Article  Google Scholar 

  155. 155.

    Ige PP, Baria RK, Gattani SG (2013) Fabrication of fenofibrate nanocrystals by probe sonication method for enhancement of dissolution rate and oral bioavailability. Colloid Surf B Biointerfaces 108:366–373

    Article  Google Scholar 

  156. 156.

    Sahu BP, Das MK (2014) Preparation and in vitro/in vivo evaluation of felodipine nanosuspension. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet 39(3):183–193

    Article  Google Scholar 

  157. 157.

    Noh J-K, Naeem M, Cao J, Lee EH, Kim M-S, Jung Y et al (2016) Herceptin-functionalized pure paclitaxel nanocrystals for enhanced delivery to HER2-postive breast cancer cells. Int J Pharm 513(1):543–553

    Article  Google Scholar 

  158. 158.

    Guo M, Fu Q, Wu C, Guo Z, Li M, Sun J et al (2015) Rod shaped nanocrystals exhibit superior in vitro dissolution and in vivo bioavailability over spherical like nanocrystals: a case study of lovastatin. Colloid Surf B Biointerfaces 128:410–418

    Article  Google Scholar 

  159. 159.

    Peng H, Wang J, Lv S, Wen J, Chen JF (2015) Synthesis and characterization of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles prepared by a high-gravity precipitation method. Ceram Int 41(10):14340–14349

    Article  Google Scholar 

  160. 160.

    Li M, Yaragudi N, Afolabi A, Dave R, Bilgili E (2015) Sub-100nm drug particle suspensions prepared via wet milling with low bead contamination through novel process intensification. Chem Eng Sci 130:207–220

    Article  Google Scholar 

  161. 161.

    De Smet L, Saerens L, De Beer T, Carleer R, Adriaensens P, Van Bocxlaer J et al (2014) Formulation of itraconazole nanococrystals and evaluation of their bioavailability in dogs. Eur J Pharm Biopharm 87(1):107–113

    Article  Google Scholar 

  162. 162.

    Gadadare R, Mandpe L, Pokharkar V (2014) Ultra rapidly dissolving repaglinide nanosized crystals prepared via bottom-up and top-down approach: influence of food on pharmacokinetics behavior. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2015;16(4):787–99. Int J Pharm 477(1):251–260

    Google Scholar 

  163. 163.

    Turcheniuk K, Trecazzi C, Deeleepojananan C, Mochalin VN (2016) Salt-assisted ultrasonic deaggregation of nanodiamond. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 8(38):25461–25468

    Article  Google Scholar 

  164. 164.

    Adebisi AO, Kaialy W, Hussain T, Al-Hamidi H, Nokhodchi A, Conway BR et al (2016) An assessment of triboelectrification effects on co-ground solid dispersions of carbamazepine. Powder Technol 292:342–350

    Article  Google Scholar 

  165. 165.

    Al-Hamidi H, Asare-Addo K, Desai S, Kitson M, Nokhodchi A (2015) The dissolution and solid-state behaviours of coground ibuprofen–glucosamine HCl. Drug Dev Ind Pharm 41(10):1682–1692

    Article  Google Scholar 

  166. 166.

    Penkina A, Semjonov K, Hakola M, Vuorinen S, Repo T, Yliruusi J et al (2016) Towards improved solubility of poorly water-soluble drugs: cryogenic co-grinding of piroxicam with carrier polymers. Drug Dev Ind Pharm 42(3):378–388

    Article  Google Scholar 

  167. 167.

    Hong C, Dang Y, Lin G, Yao Y, Li G, Ji G et al (2014) Effects of stabilizing agents on the development of myricetin nanosuspension and its characterization: an in vitro and in vivo evaluation. Int J Pharm. 477(1):251–260

    Article  Google Scholar 

  168. 168.

    Salaberria AM, Fernandes SC, Diaz RH, Labidi J (2015) Processing of α-chitin nanofibers by dynamic high pressure homogenization: characterization and antifungal activity against a. Niger. Carbohydr Polym 116:286–291

    Article  Google Scholar 

  169. 169.

    Sosnik A, Seremeta KP (2015) Advantages and challenges of the spray-drying technology for the production of pure drug particles and drug-loaded polymeric carriers. Adv Colloid Interf Sci 223:40–54

    Article  Google Scholar 

  170. 170.

    Başaran E, Yenilmez E, Berkman MS, Büyükköroğlu G, Yazan Y (2014) Chitosan nanoparticles for ocular delivery of cyclosporine a. J Microencapsul 31(1):49–57

    Article  Google Scholar 

  171. 171.

    Mustapha O, Din F, Kim DW, Park JH, Woo KB, Lim S-J et al (2016) Novel piroxicam-loaded nanospheres generated by the electrospraying technique: physicochemical characterisation and oral bioavailability evaluation. J Microencapsul 33(4):323–330

    Article  Google Scholar 

  172. 172.

    Paisana MC, Müllers KC, Wahl MA, Pinto JF (2016) Production and stabilization of olanzapine nanoparticles by rapid expansion of supercritical solutions (RESS). J Supercrit Fluids 109:124–133

    Article  Google Scholar 

  173. 173.

    Uchida H, Nishijima M, Sano K, Demoto K, Sakabe J, Shimoyama Y (2015) Production of theophylline nanoparticles using rapid expansion of supercritical solutions with a solid cosolvent (RESS-SC) technique. J Supercrit Fluids 105:128–135

    Article  Google Scholar 

  174. 174.

    Prosapio V, Reverchon E, De Marco I (2014) Antisolvent micronization of BSA using supercritical mixtures carbon dioxide+ organic solvent. J Supercrit Fluids 94:189–197

    Article  Google Scholar 

  175. 175.

    Campardelli R, Baldino L, Reverchon E (2015) Supercritical fluids applications in nanomedicine. J Supercrit Fluids 101:193–214

    Article  Google Scholar 

  176. 176.

    Labuschagne P, Adami R, Liparoti S, Naidoo S, Swai H, Reverchon E (2014) Preparation of rifampicin/poly (d, l-lactice) nanoparticles for sustained release by supercritical assisted atomization technique. J Supercrit Fluids 95:106–117

    Article  Google Scholar 

  177. 177.

    De Cicco F, Reverchon E, Adami R, Auriemma G, Russo P, Calabrese EC et al (2014) In situ forming antibacterial dextran blend hydrogel for wound dressing: SAA technology vs. spray drying. Carbohydr Polym 101:1216–1224

    Article  Google Scholar 

  178. 178.

    Yang X, Liu X, Liu Z, Pu F, Ren J, Qu X (2012) Near-infrared light-triggered, targeted drug delivery to cancer cells by Aptamer gated Nanovehicles. Adv Mater 24(21):2890–2895

    Article  Google Scholar 

  179. 179.

    Qin Y, Chen J, Bi Y, Xu X, Zhou H, Gao J et al (2015) Near-infrared light remote-controlled intracellular anti-cancer drug delivery using thermo/pH sensitive nanovehicle. Acta Biomater 17:201–209

    Article  Google Scholar 

  180. 180.

    Feng Q, Zhang Y, Zhang W, Hao Y, Wang Y, Zhang H et al (2016) Programmed near-infrared light-responsive drug delivery system for combined magnetic tumor-targeting magnetic resonance imaging and chemo-phototherapy. Acta Biomater 49:402–413

    Article  Google Scholar 

  181. 181.

    Feng Q, Zhang Y, Zhang W, Shan X, Yuan Y, Zhang H et al (2016) Tumor-targeted and multi-stimuli responsive drug delivery system for near-infrared light induced chemo-phototherapy and photoacoustic tomography. Acta Biomater 38:129–142

    Article  Google Scholar 

  182. 182.

    Wang X, Wang C, Zhang Q, Cheng Y (2016) Near infrared light-responsive and injectable supramolecular hydrogels for on-demand drug delivery. Chem Commun 52(5):978–981

    Article  Google Scholar 

  183. 183.

    Luo Z, Cai K, Hu Y, Zhao L, Liu P, Duan L et al (2011) Mesoporous silica nanoparticles end-capped with collagen: redox-responsive nanoreservoirs for targeted drug delivery. Angew Chem Int Ed 50(3):640–643

    Article  Google Scholar 

  184. 184.

    Chen X, Sun H, Hu J, Han X, Liu H, Hu Y. Transferrin gated Mesoporous silica Nanoparticles for Redox-responsive and targeted drug delivery. Colloid surf B: biointerfaces. 2017

    Google Scholar 

  185. 185.

    Zhang Q, Liu F, Nguyen KT, Ma X, Wang X, Xing B et al (2012) Multifunctional Mesoporous silica Nanoparticles for cancer-targeted and controlled drug delivery. Adv Funct Mater 22(24):5144–5156

    Article  Google Scholar 

  186. 186.

    Zhang W, Wang F, Wang Y, Wang J, Yu Y, Guo S et al (2016) pH and near-infrared light dual-stimuli responsive drug delivery using DNA-conjugated gold nanorods for effective treatment of multidrug resistant cancer cells. J Control Release 232:9–19

    Article  Google Scholar 

  187. 187.

    Huang L, Zhang Q, Dai L, Shen X, Chen W, Cai K (2017) Phenylboronic acid-modified hollow silica nanoparticles for dual-responsive delivery of doxorubicin for targeted tumor therapy. Regenerative Biomaterials:rbw045

  188. 188.

    Dai L, Yu Y, Luo Z, Li M, Chen W, Shen X et al (2016) Photosensitizer enhanced disassembly of amphiphilic micelle for ROS-response targeted tumor therapy in vivo. Biomaterials 104:1–17

    Article  Google Scholar 

  189. 189.

    Zhou S, Wu D, Yin X, Jin X, Zhang X, Zheng S et al (2017) Intracellular pH-responsive and rituximab-conjugated mesoporous silica nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery to lymphoma B cells. J Exp Clin Cancer Res 36(1):24

    Article  Google Scholar 

  190. 190.

    Liu T, Wang C, Gu X, Gong H, Cheng L, Shi X et al (2014) Drug delivery with PEGylated MoS2 Nano-sheets for combined Photothermal and chemotherapy of cancer. Adv Mater 26(21):3433–3440

    Article  Google Scholar 

  191. 191.

    Liu J, Detrembleur C, Pauw-Gillet D, Mornet S, Jérôme C, Duguet E (2015) Gold Nanorods coated with Mesoporous silica Shell as drug delivery system for remote near infrared light-activated release and potential phototherapy. Small 11(19):2323–2332

    Article  Google Scholar 

  192. 192.

    Chen L, Wu L, Liu F, Qi X, Ge Y, Shen S (2016) Azo-functionalized Fe 3 O 4 nanoparticles: a near-infrared light triggered drug delivery system for combined therapy of cancer with low toxicity. J Mater Chem B 4(21):3660–3669

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


There was no funding available for this work.

Availability of Data and Materials

Presented in the main paper.

Authors’ Contributions

FuD and AuR presented the idea; MM and SR did the literature review; MM, SI, and AZ write the manuscript. MK, FuD, GMK, and AuR critically review the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Asim ur Rehman or Fakhar ud Din.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent for Publication

Not applicable.

Competing Interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mir, M., Ishtiaq, S., Rabia, S. et al. Nanotechnology: from In Vivo Imaging System to Controlled Drug Delivery. Nanoscale Res Lett 12, 500 (2017).

Download citation


  • Nanotechnology
  • Nanocomposites
  • In vivo imaging
  • Drug delivery and pharmaceutical nanosystems