Properties of Nanoparticles for Conjugation to Aptamers

Nanoparticles are a particularly attractive drug delivery vehicle for cancer therapeutics because they can be synthesized to recognize tumor-specific antigens and deliver drugs in a controlled manner.4,23 The design of targeted drug delivery nanoparticles combines drug encapsulated materials, such as biodegradable polymers, with a targeting moiety (Figure 16.2). Ideally, biodegradable targeted nanoparticles should be designed with the following parameters: (1) small size (preferably between 10 and 200 nm); (2) high drug loading and entrapment efficiency; (3) low rate of aggregation; (4) slow rate of clearance from the bloodstream; and (5) optimized targeting to the desired tissue with minimized uptake by other tissues. The following sections will discuss the various parameters that must be considered for engineering of nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery applications, including the development of nanoparticle-aptamer bioconjugates. This will include discussion of nanoparticle biomaterial, size, charge, and surface modification schemes to achieve the desired design parameters. It is important to note that a detailed review is beyond the scope of this chapter, and the reader is referred to the following reviews for further information: see references.86-90

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