In order for pharmacological treatments to be effective, the drug involved needs to be delivered in a targeted and timely manner, while keeping its activity. Nanocarriers can be used to protect drugs against degradation and promote accumulation at the target site following systemic administration.
To ensure that the carriers are able to reach the targeted site, the researchers fine-tune their properties. For instance, nanocarriers can be modified with target-recognition peptides or sequences. However, the translocation of these carriers across cellular membranes and biological barriers while being transported from the bloodstream to the actual target tissue poses major challenges.
The researchers study the interaction between nanocarriers and biological systems, including cellular uptake mechanisms that can be modified by biochemical stimulation as well as physical material properties. Such combined manipulations of cellular processes will optimize the drug delivery process of nanocarriers and lead to paradigm shifts in conventional medical therapies.